September 20, 2022

Completely Misinterpreting Success

The CEO is frustrated.

  • "Online, as a percentage of sales, is just 12%. We are a complete failure."

The Marketing Executive is frustrated.
  • "Online is failing because we haven't created a seamless, frictionless omnichannel experience. Let's whiteboard some ideas!"

The consultant (that's me) is thrilled.
  • "You have the highest sales per square foot I've ever seen. The reason your customers aren't shopping online at high rates is because they WANT to be in your stores."

Needless to say, the CEO and the Marketing Executive severed ties with me after that comment. They found the usual array of pundits, consultants, vendors, researchers, and trade journalists who agreed with them that their HIGHLY PROFITABLE business was a failure because their online penetration was below the industry average.

I was in a mall last week ... according to the CEO above, this is what success should look like ... a completely empty store with customers buying online instead.

Yeah, there it is ... success!

Or maybe this style of visual merchandising is considered success. I mean, my goodness.

I mean seriously, what in the name of Montgomery Wards is going on here?

Also notice there's not a soul in the store ... but there are balloons and whatever the heck that is that is greeting absolutely nobody at the entryway to the store.

Here's a hint for those of you out there in the studio audience ... if you are a terrible in-store merchant, your online sales penetration will increase. If you are a brilliant in-store merchant and customers WANT to be in your store, guess what? Your online sales penetration will go down.

You don't understand how business works if your sales per square foot are industry-leading and you are complaining about it.

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