The strong migration of sales away from physical stores and into the online arena is a move that need not go unchallenged, according to one industry insider. Dr. Alan Treadgold, head of retail strategy in London and Chicago for the Leo Burnett Group, says in an opinion piece, “The biggest structural challenge for retailers is surely how to ensure that those expensively assembled and expensive to operate portfolios of physical real estate remain as assets, and do not become liabilities that shoppers no longer want to visit.”
Quoted in Hub Magazine, Treadgold outlines some specific ideas retailers can address about shoppers’ concerns. Those include:
• Using effective service to add a dimension in terms of real product knowledge.
• Delivering better on those attributes where physical stores should be able to win over the web.
• Utilizing a willingness not just to optimize the store experience within the context of the category in which the retailer competes, but also a willingness to break the traditional conventions of the category.
“The multichannel and recession defined landscape that is the U.S. retail marketplace is certainly no Field of Dreams,” Treadgold says. “If you build it they won’t necessarily come, but they will if you understand how physical stores can win over the web. Deliver at least to the expectations of shoppers on the basics, and create truly imaginative and inspiring experiences.