What’s wrong with eCommerce at retail?

If you look at the photo above you might just find the core issue.

But, first let’s start with…

…the story of this photo

A few weeks ago I took a trip to my local Walmart.

To save time I made a single trip for groceries, toiletries and a few gifts.

Things started great.

Shopping was fast and easy. The store was well laid out. Prices were very good. 

After I finished buying groceries. I looked up at signs located around the store as I was unfamilar with the layout.

I quickly found what I was looking for, but then stopped.

And, I had to look at the sign again.


The sign highlights what’s wrong with retail.

Lack of thinking about making life easier for shoppers.

Lack of thinking about how to create a winning omnichannel strategy.

If I shop online, do I want to put up with trudging through an entire store to pick up my order?

Probably not a good choice.

So, it got me thinking about how to win with eCommerce at Retail

3 Key Steps to creating a Winning Omni-channel Strategy

1) Create a complimentary shopper experience for eCommerce at retail.

Just because I walk through the threshold of a retail store does not mean I am a single channel shopper.

Retail has come a long way from when retailers set up separate eCommerce operations.

They did this for better tax treatment. And, it prevented channel blurring.

This was an internal driven decision.

One driven by ignoring shoppers.

And, a mistake that should not be repeated today.

It’s critical to deliver a complimentary experience and build on any digital relationship that exists.

Look for ways to merge the two experiences.

Look for ways to offer even more value.

2) Focus on being easy to do business with.

Why make life harder?

Retailers who design easier experiences will win.

In this case, it might mean setting up designated parking spaces for online order pickup.

It could also mean connecting with a mobile app and enabling location services so when I arrived, my package is waiting with the greeter.

Understanding shopper behavior is critical. Identifying usage occasions and understanding needs along the Path to Purchase can lead to better service – and greater profitability.

3) Create an unique and inviting environment.

Touch, feel, sight, smell are all senses that cannot be fully realized in an online environment. Although, there are many new technologies like Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality that help bridge the digital and physical worlds. Being in a ‘physical place’ can still make the virtual experience infinitely more interesting.

Check out this example.

The North Face created a pop-up store in a South Korean mall to replicate the South Pole. Shoppers thought the experience was special to begin with, but then, they sat down and this…

Despite the stories of gloom and doom for traditional retailers, it’s clear that (overall) physical stores will not be wiped out any time soon.

In fact, they can become great assets if handled strategically.