Should you stop to look at digital and traditional such as two competitive channels? You better start to consider them a unique emerging environment where ubiquitous customers are moving fluidly through an omnichannel experience.
Is not even such a fresh news (see Business Insider’s article) that Macy’s is planning to close numerous points of sale due to lose from in store revenues. Same lot for Ralph Lauren which is cutting employees, and Coach and Michael Kors rationalizing wholesales and flagship stores. Either Nordstrom and Target are reporting decreases in revenues and Wallmart closed hundreds of stores in 2016.
Some analysts are pointing at e-biz as the main responsible for it. Such a shrewdness: e-commerce grew +7,7% between 2014-2015, only in Europe. Of course, among the causes we should enlist other reasons (e.g. currency fluctuations). What is still missing, in this scenario, where investments are shifting from brick-and-mortar to e-channels and digital strategies?
Synergy. Sinergy to better know your customer base and forecast their needs.
Our latest EDBS says that in Europe among the 40% of internet users admit to connect to the web with a smartphone meanwhile being in a store. In Chinese metropolitan area such as Shanghai the percentage is 64%. Moreover, 20% of newsletters subscribers sign in online and in store, showing not only the willingness to provide more personal data in order to receive most relevant communications, but also to be hyper connected or ubiquitous customers.
Digital is showing itself as complementary e-channel not a replacement; traditional retailers must look at omnichannel strategy as an opportunity instead as a threat. If you don’t want to have new digital players in your backyard, could be better to set up some kind of synergy at least.
If you are still wondering how to connect past and future, you will be a laggard in an heartbeat, losing tons of opportunities drove by e-biz and omnichannels strategies. Today business opportunities are mainly based on new and old social media (e.g. Facebook and Snapchat), old and new messaging systems, such as WeChat or Allo, old and new business models via e-commerce and interconnected showrooms.
Ubiquitous customers are in need of innovative engagement strategies through omnichannel at the same time. To catch millennials’ non-linear journey, you should improve your marketing efficiency and stop looking at digital and traditional as mutual competitors. The only way to exploit their potential is cooperative synergy.