The hustle and bustle of the holidays has taken on new meaning through the years. When I was a child, I loved to go to the mall and look at all the lights and the beautifully decorated store fronts. Then as I got older and the Great Recession hit, the holidays were also about how is the economy doing? How much did people shop?
This year, positive news of the 2016 holiday season being up 4% was quickly followed with large department stores like Macy's and The Limited announcing store closures. Shoppers in an increasing amount were looking at store fronts in a new way through their computer screens, phones and tablets.
All of that, though, does not mean doom and gloom for the traditional brick and mortar retailer. 85% of consumers still say they prefer to shop in physical stores vs. online. Amazon is even opening bookstores and grocery stores knowing the importance of the connection of consumers and seeing and touching what they are buying.
One way retailers can thrive in this environment is to get closer to their customers. After all, the power of the online shopping experience is knowing what your customers want. If they bought or visited you in the past, you know what they are interested in. Today's retail environment is about "Omni-Channel"marketing which simply means more than one way to shop. For those of us trying to sell products or services, this requires we find more than one way to reach our customers.
Traditional retailers have the advantage of knowing much more about our customers so we need to use both the in-store and online data. Store fronts may be changing but many of us still want to see the lights. As we continue to delve into this topic and provide tools and support, we hope you will subscribe to our blog and get the latest information.