Is brick-and-mortar retail dying? No. It’s going through a much-needed metamorphosis
It has been a rough year for retail. Traditional retailers of all types are shuttering locations, with many reorganizing under bankruptcy protection and some going out of business forever. Analysts are calling it the worst year for retail since the Great Recession. (We hope your store has been an exception and that you’ve had a great year!)
With sales at online marketplaces like Amazon growing by double digits, it’s easy to wonder if, as Nick Stagge says, we’re facing a retail apocalypse.
But, no. “This is the evolution of retail, and it’s long overdue,” counters Stagge in an Aug. 16 article for Total Retail, a Philadelphia-based outlet for information about omnichannel retailing. Stagge is senior director of marketing and head of brand strategy for Experticity, a Salt Lake City-based marketing and research company.
“Amidst the potentially devastating landscape, there are retailers rising above, proving the future isn’t bleak, but hopeful,” Stagge writes.
Stagge offers a few ways retailers can evolve to meet the new demands of the marketplace. Here are two we think are especially applicable to mattress retailers:
- Create a dynamic experience. The beauty retailer Sephora combines the best of “online and offline shopping to create experiences tailored to its customers’ preferences,” Stagge says. Love tech? Sephora lets customers scan their faces to find the perfect makeup for their skin tone. How can you use sleep trackers, mattress-matching systems and other technologies to give consumers more control over their shopping experience? How can you inspire your retail sales associates be more passionate about selling sleep?
- Stand for something. Outdoor retailer REI earned a lot of positive press—and consumer appreciation—when it announced a few years ago it would close on Black Friday so its employees and customers could #OptOutside. “The idea to close up shop on the busiest day of the year must have sounded outrageous at first,” Stagge says. “But since 1938, REI has been dedicated to getting people outside. This campaign was a perfect way to simultaneously make a statement and support a long-standing cause.” What do you care deeply about? Tap into that to help your customers and your community.