Traditional “brick-and-mortar” retailers may envy the performance of their colleagues on the e-commerce side. In a decade punctuated by the failures of iconic retail chains and a depressing parade of store closings, e-commerce growth and market share have outpaced traditional stores in every single quarter. The future holds more of the same: e-commerce in the U.S. and Western Europe is set to grow by 10% or more every year through at least 2014—a pace traditional retailers are unlikely to match.
How have e-commerce sites outpaced physical stores, when stores offer a far superior environmental, social, and product experience? Convenience and price are major factors, of course. But a third, overlooked advantage of e-commerce sites is their relentless application of metrics to improve the productivity of every interaction with shoppers.
Both e-commerce sites and brick-and-mortar stores work hard to maximize their advantages. Online stores use their built-in metrics to adapt their sites continuously to seasonal and competitive trends. Traditional retailers are constantly reviewing store layouts and operations, retraining staff, and fine-tuning merchandise displays to improve their shoppers’ experience.
Both groups are less effective in minimizing their disadvantages Online retailers can’t offer a full, immersive in-store experience using today’s technologies, but go as far as they can within the limits of website design, social integration, multi-media, and in-store pickup. Brick-and-mortar retailers do far worse at deploying and—more important— using metrics beyond traditional “comp” (year-over-year same-store) sales.
Filed under Traffic Intelligence; Store PerformanceKeywords people counting; Store Performance
Published on 1/7/2012 Permalink