“Retail Evolution: Planning for Trends Driving Change” was the topic at a recent Arizona Association for Economic Development luncheon.
John Tran, design principal for SmithGroupJJR, shared his insight into what is happening in the retail world.
Sears, JC Penny, K-Mart, Payless Shoes. Macy’s and The Limited, to name a few – all huge names and all closing stores across the country. We’re also seeing the contraction of malls and shopping centers.
But still, Tran cited a Walker Consulting report that said 87 percent of all sales still occur off-line. Sixty-nine percent of sales involve “webrooming,” in which the consumer checks out the products on-line, then goes to a brick and mortar store for the actual purchase. Forty-six percent of all sales involve showrooming, in which consumers go to the store to touch and feel what they want to buy, but make their purchases on-line.
How can a well-planned and executed public relations program have an effect on this?
Walker’s findings indicate that by 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator.
Consumers will continue to do business with companies they like and trust. As the integrated and enhanced shopping experience continues to evolve, public relations can help retailers connect with their customers, furthering the relationship between the two. Utilizing marketing strategies that deliver a seamless experience to customers across all channels and devices will be the lifeline for the retailers that adjust, adapt and survive.