The meaning of the phrase, “I see you,” can be debated from the movie Avatar; however, for consumers and retailers the time has arrived that both need to open their respective eyes and build a relationship.
Consumers are aggressively pushing retailers for a better shopping experience but they are not honestly willing to trust or demonstrate a sustaining loyalty with a single retailer.
Retailers are assertively transforming all of their channels of fulfillment for a consistent and effective personalization to meet and re-capture the consumer on their terms – how, when, and where they want to buy.
But will this be enough?
Consumers are no longer an empty vessel of merchandising category or brand knowledge when they engage in the path-to-purchase. Consumers are emotionally confident and self-directed to aggregate as much information necessary for a product choice, brand comparisons and sense of fair market pricing.
Consumers are blending and leveraging a mixture of web commerce, mobile and in-store research upon which they will base their decision relative to their physical & virtual proximity to the merchandise and the retailer.
Why? Retailers saw the opportunity to use technology to expand their brand marketing message as well to increase sales “profit” when they chose to use eCommerce and mobile as fulfillment channel. So pervasive and successful suffice for the moment to say that Consumer’s behavior and attitude have become more “Transactional” where trust and transaction are independent.
Every generation (Veteran, Baby Boomer, Gen-X, Gen-Y, and Gen-Z) are now distinctly merging with a single response to shopping given the technological and economic implications of the internet as a society. The behavior of “ME” minus the importance of a relationship is now well established in each of us.
Given that everybody is a consumer with a modified behavior it is no wonder that retail store associates treat shoppers as a transaction.
Transaction vs. Relationship Era
Retailers are recognizing that the era of solely treating consumers in a transactional commerce model is unsustainable and death to a brand. A broad cross industry of retailers are now placing the primary objective of their focus on “customer experience” built upon the foundation of “relationship” with understanding that “profit” is a byproduct of pleasing consumers and that consumers will come back and bring their money.
Retailer will need to increase their corporate & employee communication and training efforts to store associates on a more consistent basis to explain the importance of this conduct and behavioral change.
photo credit: shine_blitz_on