Page 1

VOLUME 21 ISSUE 04 • 2013

TRENDS FROM THE ONLINE GOES OFFLINE -- FAST How quickly the world of retail changes. In the last few months, the strangest thing has happened: pure play (online only) retailers are moving into the offline (physical) shopping world.

Warby Parker NYC Flagship

Online retailers are moving into the offline (physical) shopping world Warby Parker, the eyeglass company that successfully sells retro-style glasses online through a Zappos-style model, recently opened its first physical retail store in New York City. Bonobos, the online-only men’s fashion retailer, has done the same. It now has stores in New York, Boston and San Francisco, with more to come. What these recent examples tell us is that omni-channel retail is fast taking on new meaning. It’s no longer only about traditional retailers creating an online presence to satisfy shoppers' demands for “anytime, anywhere, anyhow." Now, omni-channel is more and more essential for pure play retailers too.

Bonobos Guide Shop, Bethesda

Smart digital retailers are beginning to recognize that they too need a broader, multi-channel approach for many of the same reasons offline retailers do. A digital -- only shopping platform isn’t enough to ensure long-term success because sometimes even the most digitally savvy online shoppers want to physically experience products and brands in real time. And for many different reasons:



VOLUME 21 ISSUE 04 • 2013

they want it now, they want to try it, smell it, taste it, or all of the above.

Sometimes even the most digitally savvy online shoppers want to physically experience products and brands in real time. Burberry London Regent Street

Burberry's RFID Tag


Another reason for the move by online retailers is that traditional retailers and manufacturers have begun to catch up to them with their omni-channel strategies. The best have created multiple touchpoints – physical and virtual – that engage shoppers in more customized ways that are calibrated to meet an individual shopper’s needs. Examples of companies that have done a particularly good job at this include luxury UK fashion brand Burberry, US department store Saks Fifth Avenue, popular-priced US fashion retailer J. Crew, beauty brand and retailer MAC, and beauty retailer Sephora. In the health care category an extraordinarily successful example is It's an online community used by some 35 million mothers and mothers-to-be around the world to find authoritative information on pregnancy and parenting. The site is non-branded. However, its owned by health care giant Johnson & Johnson. Aside from the wealth of information the site offers, women can also shop there. Not surprising. What is surprising is that, today, if you click on “shop” you go directly to (and its related sites,, etc.) and NOT to a Johnson & Johnson virtual store or a traditional retailer.

Digital for digital’s sake no longer guarantees success. Last week, I spoke at Catalyst 2013, a digital conference in Las Vegas. The audience was primarily pure play digital retailers and technology service providers. When I said, “Omni-channel means you too. It’s not only a strategy for traditional bricks retailers. Digital for digital’s sake no longer guarantees success,” you could almost hear the communal intake of breath. As one attendee said to me after the presentation, “My business model is all about a virtual shopping environment. And you’re now telling I have to consider other ways to enable my shoppers to experience the products. Oh, my.” How quickly the world of retail changes. Five years ago, the major topic of conversation in the retail community was how to compete with Amazon. Two years ago, “showrooming” became the challenge of the digital age, and retailers such as Target sent out blistering



VOLUME 21 ISSUE 04 • 2013

letters to vendors “suggesting“ they not treat its stores as showrooms. Some retailers even began to charge shoppers for trying without buying. (The most recent -- fruitless -- example is an Australian gluten-free grocery store, Celiac Supplies, that charges $5.00 for shoppers to browse. Don’t ask!)

Are you "omni"? Your shoppers are. But that was then. Now, regardless of who you are, what you make or how you sell it, the question of the day is "Are you omni?"...because your shoppers are.

HIP HEALTH CARE COMES TO WILLIAMSBURG, BROOKLYN Brooklyn, NY, is now recognized around the world as the hotspot for all things music, art, fashion, retail, food… and more. Who would ever have thought you could add health to that list. Well, add away. On a recent sunny spring Saturday, we took a group of Australian entertainment executives on one of our Retail Safaris® to Williamsburg, Brooklyn to see emerging retail experiences. We visited new technology stores, food stores, coffee shops, the Duane Reade drug store with a custom beer bar, and an independent movie theater. Right across the street from the Nitehawk theater was D’Adamo Nutrition.

D'Adamo Nutrition, Brooklyn, NY

The 1,500 square foot storefront is the first retail manifestation of the theories of Dr. Peter D’Adamo, a naturopath who develops personalized nutrition and lifestyle strategies based on blood typing. For shoppers who don’t know their blood type, a “counselor” will take and analyze their blood free of charge. (A simple procedure done over the counter… really). Then based on blood type, he recommends food to eat and supplements to take (which you can buy in the store or online). The concept was sufficiently fascinating to our guests that two had their blood typed and bought supplements. Our AB- shopper bought 120-count multivitamin Polyvite AB for $36.95, and 120-count Phytocal sea-based mineral formula for $26.95. The blood typing not only leads to nutritional recommendations, it also is the basis to identify personality type. So if you happen to be AB- you discover that not only is your blood type rare but you are “emotional, passionate, friendly, trusting and empathetic. Type ABs are considered some of the most interesting of blood types, both John F. Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe were Type ABs.” Hip cool health. What will they think of next in Brooklyn?



VOLUME 21 ISSUE 04 • 2013

THE MIDDLE CLASS MALAISE CONTINUES In the 2012 edition of our How America Shops® MegaTrends study, 80% of shoppers told us they believed the recession would last another three or more years. Clearly, shoppers did not believe official economic assessments that the US recession was long over.

We predicted then that shoppers had accepted their situation and were finding ways to deal with it. Smart shopping (“getting the lowest price on my things I buy”) was now the focus of every shopping trip for everyone. We alerted our manufacturer and retail clients to seriously reconsider their value strategies for any and all shoppers, regardless of their income, age, ethnicity or gender.





It was no surprise then to us to read in The New York Times about a recent Allstate/National Journal poll which reported that, of the nearly one-out-of-two Americans who consider themselves middle class, six out of 10 said they were very or somewhat concerned about “falling out of [their] current economic class over the next few years.”

We hate to say we told you so over a year ago but we did. It is worth repeating -- whether you are a manufacturer or retailer, regardless of who your customers are, you need to reassess your value strategy to ensure it reflects how shoppers are feeling, not based on what economists say. And that goes for everyone -- whether you are selling a commodity or a high-end luxury product. Remember this: “Three or more years of recession” is what shoppers told us in 2012. Sounds like 2015 to me.

WENDY LIEBMANN will speak at:


Virtual Retail Safari® of the Most Influential Retail Around the World LOCATION: Las Vegas, NV

See you from the EDGE,


We recognized a long time ago (27 years to be exact) that understanding shoppers and their "shopping life" is the path to successfully building the future of retail. We consult with retailers and manufacturers around the world to help them do just that -- build retail strategies that drive shoppers to stores (real or virtual) to buy today and tomorrow. THE EDGE early alert on emerging issues and why they are relevant to shoppers, brands and retailers - US and global. 1 Year Individual Subscription: $300

1 Year Corporate Subscription: $3000

2 Year Individual Subscription: $500

2 Year Corporate Subscription: $5000

Please contact us for your preferred payment method. © ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 2013 // FOR FURTHER INFO, CONTACT US AT // T 212.924.7780 E INFO@WSLSTRATEGICRETAIL.COM U WWW.WSLSTRATEGICRETAIL.COM

525d649b07de32 68893987

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you