Editor's Note: Keeping in touch with consumers at P2PX
Amazon might be winning the retail wars from a digital perspective, but traditional retailers are finally paying more attention to where they can capture the consumer’s attention, not to mention their hard-earned dollars, in-store.
At least that is the plan laid out by two executives from Walgreens and CVS during their presentations at the Path to Purchase Expo in Chicago on Wednesday. Saying that with new technology and good old in-store signage, they can simplify the process for consumers and help them better understand what they are buying. The end result? More sales in stores and fewer consumers thinking that buying digitally is the only way to go
Of course, this all makes sense, especially in the healthcare and beauty ends of the business—coincidentally the two areas where drug store chains must thrive in order to stay ahead of the curve and two areas where consumers want and need to interact with an in-store expert.
While we all fear what Amazon is doing to traditional retailing, the giant digital operation thrives on offering three things: Better pricing, product assortment and convenience. But traditional retailers can compete in a way that Amazon will never be able to digitally—offering the personal connection and making the consumer feel all warm and fuzzy about the in-store shopping experience. The goal is to get consumers to get up from their computers and smartphones and walk into a retail store to make a purchase.
Alyssa Raine, Walgreens’ divisional vice president, brand marketing and creative, spoke about combining technology and the human touch to improve customer experience, during her session during her keynote presentation, titled “Walgreens: Combining Technology and the Human Touch to Improve the Customer Experience.”
She stressed a need for empathy from retailers, especially as the healthcare system is becoming more transactional and impersonal. She also cited a statistic that 80% of consumers are more likely to do business with a company that offers a personalized experience.
[WANT MORE P2P? PATH TO PURCHASE INSTITUTE MEMBERS HAVE ACCESS TO MORE THAN 1,800 ARTICLES AND A LIBRARY OF 14,000 MARKETING AND MERCHANDISING IMAGES ALONG WITH DETAILED RETAILER PROFILES DETAILING OPERATIONS AND STRATEGIES. VISIT P2PI.ORG FOR MORE INFORMATION]
During the CVS presentation, Marcy Brewington, director of in-store marketing strategy for CVS Health, said a full redesign of the chain’s in-store signage is coming for all of its 9,000 stores, perhaps starting as early next year, to make it easier for consumers to find what they need faster. Consumers, she noted, are overwhelmed by signage. It’s time to simplify things a bit.
Making the shopping experience easier for the consumer remains the goal. It is an idea that worked well a century ago and remains the basis for retailing in the digital age.
Pricing, assortment and convenience are extremely important to any retail operation. But here are two good ideas from retailers who understand that brick-and-mortar stores need to make the shopping experience more enjoyable and easier for their customers to successfully compete.