Over the past few years a new breed of retailer has been emerging, one that is data driven and channel agnostic. Last week two traditional online pureplay retailers Warby Parker and Bonobos were featured in The Wall Street Journal highlighting their store growth plans. Although retail stores opened by online pureplays is nothing new (in fact 10 years ago I used to work for one called babystyle), the way they are run and their purpose for existing are drastically different. Future stores must:
- Drive sales in all channels, not just the brick and mortar store. Along with selling product, stores influence sales in other channels. Retailers who fail to measure the store’s influence in other channels will likely undervalue, and therefore underinvest, in retail stores.
- Provide extended services. This includes fulfillment services for omnichannel orders, as well as servicing orders that are placed online or in other channels and stores. While this can show up as an expense on the store P&L, the improved customer service will drive loyalty and engagement (followed by sales) in the future.
- Connect associates. Consumers still like to go into the stores and get help from associates. In fact, 87% say they are more likely to buy an item recommended from a sales associate, according to the 2016 Omnichannel Retail Associate Study conducted by retail technology provider Salesfloor. Connected associates are more knowledgeable and can personalize the experience. Consumers will spend more for an item or service that is personalized to their needs.
- Measure stores, and associates, in new ways. Retailers must stop solely measuring old metrics such as comparison sales and sales per square foot. These antiquated metrics just measure the individual sales performance of the store and is not aligned with how shoppers behave today. Instead new metrics such as store influence on regional sales, associate influence and forensics, and measuring the customer experience need to be added to the insight mix. Building systems of insight that include these new metrics will enable retailers with a modern view of customer behavior.
Why is this important? A data driven approach is required to meet the needs of these new retailers. Associates represent one of the largest investment areas for retail stores, and to date the measurement and optimization of the employee experience has largely been relegated to observational tactics. Theatro fills a big void for these new breed of retailers who wish to deeply understand the performance of associates. Along with collecting data and providing new insights on associate performance, Theatro also connects every associate, making them more productive and able to provide a better customer experience. To learn more about Theatro or to discuss this posting, please feel free to reach out to me at email@example.com.
Adam Silverman, SVP Marketing