August 06, 2023

For Your Reading Pleasure

Repeatedly ... repeatedly ... merchandising/presentation issues are an overriding challenge in 2023. E-commerce or Retail, it does not matter. We're executing whatever the marketing gurus want executed. We aren't executing "what" we sell or "how" it is presented, and we aren't even bothering with human details.

If you are the customer, you are buying "what" we sell, and "how" we present it matters. I mean, you can spend tens of millions of dollars to facilitate "buy online, pickup in store" and then you go to store and it looks awful and is thoroughly understaffed ... you just blew the "how".

Here's a fun quote from the second article:
  • "But when I went to the register, no one was there to help me check out. I waited for a few minutes, just long enough to change my mind and put the shirt back."

I once consulted with a retail brand. I noticed that there were no employees (there weren't any customers, either). I waited a good ten minutes until an employee somehow appeared ... the employee looked at me and said "you aren't one of those spies from corporate, are you?" The store was sloppy, unappealing, lifeless. I did take pictures. I shared them with the Executive Team. Heads slumped. I never sensed they slumped enough to do anything about what they saw.

We're going through a process of stripping humans out of the retail and e-commerce experience. Something is gained and something is lost when progress happens. We're losing more than we're gaining in 2023.

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