NEW: Sklar Wilton & Associates has launched a new Disruption Audit Solution to help companies assess how their business will fair in a world of disruption and identify where they need to lean in harder. Use our free assessment tool to evaluate your company’s efforts in 3 key areas: consumer led planning, conviction for the future, and being technology forward.

Do any of these sound familiar? Your company…

  • Shares have fallen more than 30% in the last year.
  • You’ve posted losses greater than $1 billion in the last two years.
  • Earnings for the last quarter were almost equal to earnings for the last year.
  • Is failing to attract consumers interested in what you’re dishing out, no matter your efforts to win.

Why are you struggling? I know why because I used to visit your stores all the time.

  • Your stores are stale and musty.
    • Sure, your brick and mortar, flagship, big city location is lovely. But every other retail location is dated and drab.
    • You love high margins so you put the fragrance section at the front of your stores. Of course, allergies and sensitivities aside, most of your customers don’t enjoy being accosted by clerks trying to entice them to smell their scents so really, you’re just annoying 95% of your potential customers. It’s a steep price of admission to enter your store.
    • In this era of smart mirrors, facial scanning, and augmented and virtual reality, the most visible technology in your stores is the price checker that’s been there since 1995. Not that it works anyways.
    • Since you weren’t going digital, consumers went without you. In fact, 67% of consumers use their mobile phones to shop for goods and services online and 82% of them used them to help while shopping in stores.
  • Your stores are understaffed and your employees are unengaged.
    • Your employees often hide from or avoid customers. Why aren’t they engaged and excited to help their customers? Why aren’t they proud of their role at your company? What’s wrong with your corporate culture? And, where are the voice assistants, robot assistants, and chatbots that would be able to help me with my simple questions when employees are helping other customers with more complicated questions?
  • Your stores are poorly organized.
    • Having to find items by brand rather than by category makes it incredibly hard to find anything and even harder to comparison shop among two or three similar items. Is there even a section where customers can view t-shirts from every brand? Or sales people who can help me find t-shirts from every brand? Where are the digital maps pointing me to various places within your store?
  • Your omni-channel experience is not up to snuff.
    • In anticipation of my post-holiday season ‘weekend of hibernation,’ I shopped from my couch a week ago and ordered a robe. Not only did my order not arrive within 2 days like Amazon and Sephora do without fail, I did not receive ANY updates about where my robe was. My coveted hibernation weekend came and went with no cozy robe in sight. It did come 1.5 weeks later. In the wrong size.

I used to visit your stores all the time but ever since your competitors stepped up their retail game, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed shopping there instead.

  • Nordstrom invigorated the department store feel by incorporating restaurants and bars right in the middle of the clothing sections. And, they acquired two retail technology companies to re-invent the in-store shopping experience.
  • BevyUp will enable store associates to communicate with customers even when they’re out of the store. Store associates can offer style advice and personalized product recommendations when they’re not in-store, increasing the value of store associates and improving the Nordstrom shopping experience.
  • MessageYes will enable Nordstrom associates to send personalized text messages and notifications from which consumers can easily make purchases. 
  • Sephora has arguably one of the best omni-channel experiences I’ve encountered. I get personalized emails reminding me to replenish items I’ve bought in-store. I get email reminders about items I’ve investigated online. I get suggestions on products to sample that would appeal to me based on my past purchases. 
  • By making it super easy to find what you are looking for in-store, Canadian Tire has improved their in-store shopping experience. Find the item online, and their website will tell you exactly in which aisle to locate the item. This location has 166 of these hockey pucks in store now and I can find them in aisle 32.

So why is your company struggling and doomed for disruption? You haven’t made the big innovative moves that retailers like Nordstrom and Sephora have made. You need to invest in a digital infrastructure and in a future where AI, voice assistants, chatbots, and smart mirrors work to improve the shopping experience.

Canadians are rooting for our iconic retailers! Make big moves! Make us proud!

Want to learn more? Contact us to discuss our proprietary Disruption Audit process to help you future proof your business and improve your Customer Experience.