Source | LinkedIn : By Esther van Geffen
With the enormous growth of online shopping over the last couple of years, physical Retail has been struggling with the question on how to reinvent itself in this new era of digitalization. As soon as the first pure players arrived, many predicted the death of the physical store. I’ve read many suggestions on how to survive this new landscape, ideas that would save the stores from extinction. Amongst those ideas – that varied from introducing digital screens onto the shop floor, online shopping possibilities in a window to create interaction with consumers to beacons and virtual reality – none of them could take my love for the physical Retail store away. And none of them ever convinced me to take these suggestions on board.
You see, I’ve never stopped believing in the physcial store – how can I forget those years where I learned to master it, on the floor itself? As a true Retail ambassador, I’ve kept the faith, shared the love continuously and slowly but gradually I knew there’s one thing we needed to ask ourselves: Do we really know the essence of Retail? Do we know how to sell a product in a store? Do we know how to create a welcoming ambiance in a store? Do we have the skills to service a customer? Do we know what the heart of our brand is? And do we know what it takes to touch the heart of the new customer and build a community around their experiences? Forget about the fancy ideas and let’s go back to the true mastery of Retail.
Many tried and many have failed – but there are a few examples of Retailers who reinvented Retail without going overboard with fancy ideas. All of them started out with one thing in mind: how to seduce a customer with passion for Retail in this new era.