Study: Recasting role of brick-and-mortar stores key in omnichannel world
CHICAGO — The Internet and mobile have transformed consumer shopping behaviors, but in-store shopping still remains important to many consumers, especially when buying cosmetics, apparel, grocery and office supplies, according to a new study from global management consulting firm A.T. Kearney. It is important, however, that retailers strategically assess and recast the role of stores.
The study, titled “Recasting the Retail Store in Today’s Omnichannel World,” surveyed more than 3,000 consumers in the United States and U.K. to understand how and why consumers use different channels at each stage of the shopping process.
“Stores are important to consumers, but it is critical that retailers with brick-and-mortar assets understand the new role the store network plays in optimizing sales, profits and loyalty across all channels. Despite the dramatic shifts in consumer shopping behaviors enabled by ecommerce and mobile, very few retailers have transformed the physical shopping experience to efficiently and effectively support the new behaviors. Retailers must know how and why their customers shop and then retool and redeploy the store network accordingly,” stated Michael Brown, A.T. Kearney partner and study author.
The study found that consumers spend the majority of their time shopping in stores (61%), followed by online (31%), catalog (4%) and mobile (4%). The physical store is the channel of choice across all ages (from Millennial to senior citizens) and household income levels (from less than $25,000 per year to more than $100,000 per year).
The survey results clearly point out that having physical stores is more important in some categories than others. Amazon and other online retailers have a lock on books, CDs, movies, etc., but the study found that cosmetics, apparel, grocery and office suppliers are sectors where brick-and-mortar outlets are still imperative.
Consumers shop in different stages, beginning with research, followed by testing, purchase, pick-up or delivery and after-sales experience. Digital channels play the largest role in the research phase of the process, as shoppers read online reviews and find recommendations through social media. While stores can and should play some role in all shopping stages, the study suggests that they needn’t play a central role in each to generate sales across channels.
The study pegs the significance of brick-and-mortar across multiple product categories, and recommends that retailers strategically assess and recast the role of stores along the following five dimensions — discovery, entertainment, relationship, transaction and fulfillment.
“Regardless of where a product is purchased — via online or mobile channels — the product can be tested, picked up or returned to the store. Here again is an opportunity to capitalize on impulse purchases during these customer visits. Operationally, shipping or pickup from stores expedites delivery and optimizes inventory across the store network, which does much to improve efficiency and cost savings,” added Dan Farmer, A.T. Kearney principal and co-author of the study.
The results of the consumer study show that while there is some variation in the role of the store by category (less for books, more for grocery and home improvement), the study results indicate that stores can and should play key roles for customer engagement across every product category.
The study found that 40% of consumers spend more money than they had planned in stores, while only 25%reported online impulse shopping. Researchers suggest that strategies that drive consumers to stores whether it is to shop or pick up a product purchased online will drive impulse purchases.
The paper provides four strategies to ensure that retailers’ stores and store networks remain at the heart of the customer relationship. According to the study, retailers need to innovate to create new formats, optimize locations based on new shopping behaviors, integrate operations across channels to create a channel-less operating model and redefine a new set of customer-centric performance metrics to break down channel barriers that inhibit peak performance.
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Amazon develops luxury beauty store
SEATTLE — Amazon.com is stepping up its game in the competitive beauty space with the launch of its new luxury beauty store.
The new store, which has no doubt caught the eye of competing prestige beauty retailers, features 24 brands, including Burberry, NARS, Jack Black and L’Occitane En Provence. Categories include makeup, skin care, nail products, fragrance, hair care, and tools and accessories.
Earlier this year, the online retailer unveiled a men’s grooming platform, featuring products just for him as well as “how-to guides” and “problem-solvers.”
Cannot wait to visit the Amazon's luxury beauty store. They will be having great and amazing products. I am looking forward to buy Organic Anti Aging skincare products from this store.
‘Road to Healthy Skin’ tour wraps up sixth year of free skin cancer screenings
NEW YORK — The Skin Cancer Foundation’s annual Road to Healthy Skin Tour, presented by Rite Aid, has wrapped up its sixth cross-country journey, bringing free skin cancer screenings and prevention information to communities across America.
During this year’s tour, volunteer dermatologists detected 788 suspected pre-cancers and cancers, including 29 suspected melanomas.
Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer, and since 2008, the Foundation’s volunteer dermatologists have potentially saved 300 lives — as this is the number of suspected melanomas that have been detected since the tour began six years ago. By detecting suspected skin cancers, often in early stages, the tour and its volunteer dermatologists serve an important role in communities. The five-year survival rate for patients whose melanoma is detected early is about 98%. The survival rate declines significantly if the disease has the chance to spread.
Over a four-month period, the 2013 tour made 53 stops throughout 13 states, spanning approximately 14,000 miles. Seventy dermatologists lent their time to perform screenings in the tour’s customized 38-foot RV, equipped with two private exam rooms.
The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends that everyone older than 18 years see a dermatologist annually for a full-body skin-exam. The Foundation also recommends that everyone examine their skin from head-to-toe at least once a month, looking for any new or changing lesions that might be cancerous or precancerous. A yearly skin exam performed by a physician is important, but it’s just as important to see the doctor whenever a mole changes or grows, the Foundaton stated.
The Skin Cancer Foundation’s 2013 Road to Healthy Skin Tour, presented by Rite Aid, received additional support from BASF Corp., Energizer Personal Care — the maker of Banana Boat and Hawaiian Tropic brand sunscreens — Leo Pharma and LLumar Window Films.
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