NRF Keynote: Customer Experience Doesn’t Apply To Just Digital
The key to success in retail is a stellar customer experience, both in store and online, executives from Nike, Fossil Group, and Disney told attendees during the afternoon keynote at the National Retail Federation’s Big Show/
The key to success in retail is a stellar customer experience, both in store and online, executives from Nike, Fossil Group, and Disney told attendees during the afternoon keynote at the National Retail Federation’s Big Show, in New York City.
According to Rod Sides, vice chairman, U.S. retail and distribution leader, Deloitte Consulting LLP, only 7% of transactions are happening online, yet the majority of retailers are investing the bulk of their budgets in perfecting the online customer experience. He suggested that retailers also focus on the in-store customer experience.
That’s what Nike is doing with its Community Stores. The program’s mission is to build and empower a healthy local community through sports and to serve as a catalyst for positive change through events and outreach in each area a store is located.
“Community Stores are an important part of our retail strategy in North America and build on a 20-year history and commitment to deepening our community connections around the world,” said Christiana Shi, president, direct-to-consumer, Nike.
Of course, Nike also operates Nike.com, whose fiscal 2015 online sales were up 56%, according to Shi. “Nike.com connects consumers to the brand,” she said.
Digital is where the Disney consumer is going as well. Paul Gainer, EVP, Disney retail, said the company has been making structural changes internally to be able to better react to the changing consumer.
“We took our Disney stores, both physical and online, and made them into one division,” Gainer said. “This way we can apply our learnings from guests online to guests in store. We have a center of excellence for analytics, and, for us, digital and physical are one.”
To perfect its in-store experience, Disney spends a lot of time developing its in-store staff, with the goal of turning them into brand ambassadors.
“Almost 50% of our cast members in stores are Millennials,” Gainer said. “So we think of that when thinking about how to train them.”
Mobile plays a big role in Disney’s e-commerce strategy, too, Gainer added. Little wonder why: One-quarter of Disney’s online sales come from mobile.
“The omnichannel retail strategy was what everyone was talking about just a couple of years ago,” Gainer said. “Things like in store, online, mobile, and social were key to an omnichannel strategy. But today these aren’t a strategy anymore; they are the minimum barrier to entry.”
John White, EVP of Fossil Group, said his company’s strategy for digital is to continue to build the brand and make sure it resonates. The company also is betting big on technology with regard to enhancing the physical world with digital.
“Customization, integration, the in-store experience, new websites—these are all things we are focusing on for years now,” White said. “The next step for us is to take the promise of what we did in digital and translate that same level of insight in the physical world.”
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