If you’ve been paying attention to the news, you’ve probably heard Amazon’s unveiled plans to offer delivery by drone. The goal is to deliver your order to you in just 30 minutes.
And recently, Amazon also announced plans to open retail bookstores, and later on, more physical retail stores. That’s the big news other retailers don’t want to hear. The general goal with these would be to offer a unique shopping experience unlike any other physical retail company anywhere.
Why Would Amazon Do This?
Get the obvious point out of the way first: it adds convenience. Getting your online order just 30 minutes after you made it – who wouldn’t want that? And for a company like Amazon to increase its revenues, a next logical step would be to begin offering physical stores.
Who knows? They might not even be all that profitable at first. But that’s where they could take market share away from the likes of Walmart and Target.
Next, Amazon, like Apple, understands marketing. Doing new and different things, like delivery with drones, and creating unique in-store shopping experiences (who knows what Amazon will come up with?) are the competitive edges needed to thrive at a large scale in today’s retail environment.
Why Should You Care?
You’re likely not going to be able to pull off the big plans Amazon has. Who knows how much money they put into these projects?
The point, however, is this: if you’re going to survive in the hypercompetitive brick-and-mortar retail space, you need to make shopping at your store literally unforgettable. That means you have to do more than putting out a pot of coffee and a tray or two of cookies.
Now, more than ever, you have to understand your customer – exactly who they are. And you have to deliver them an experience they have a hard time finding anywhere else.
Clothing retail chain Kohls, for example, now has a deal with Caribou Coffee to include their coffee stores inside of Kohls stores. Not only do you smell the pleasing aroma of coffee when inside, but you can have one in your hand too. Guess they thought the risks of coffee-stained floors and clothes were worth it!
So now, more than ever, you need to get feedback from your customers. Engage with them in conversation about their experience.
You don’t need to drop millions on groundbreaking innovations like Amazon. But, with lots of time spent on research, you can certainly identify low-cost, high-ROI improvements to make your in-store experience something special.