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Online First, Retail Second

Introduction

Are you an executive or a decision-maker (CXO, Director, VP) who works in the retail industry? Are you an entrepreneur (Founder) who wants to change the retail sector?

You've come to the right place.

COVID-19 has shown that a coronavirus can wipe out most, if not all, stores visitors. In response to COVID-19, modern companies must adapt by changing how they operate.

Background

Retail stores are operating blind. Retail stores do not know who their visitors are. Retail stores do not convert visitors to customers. Every visitor who is not a customer is a lost business opportunity. Every retail store that is not connected online is missing out on data.

Retail locations are not connected online.

The retail industry relies on physical locations. Retail stores rely on foot traffic to maintain business revenue. Retail stores are disconnected from e-commerce stores. Retail stores do not direct their visitors online. Retail stores do not encourage e-commerce stores.

Retail customers are untracked.

Retail stores do not track their customers. Store visitors are anonymous. Store customers are anonymous shoppers. Retail stores do not collect information about their customers.

Retail stores do not offer memberships or accounts.

Retail does not convert visitors into customers. This lost opportunity means that retail stores are unable to follow up with their customers.

Solution

Modern retail-driven companies are adapting in response to COVID-19. Modern companies are re-creating the Amazon Go experience without forcing their customers to download Amazon Go mobile app. Modern companies are creating phone number-driven shopping experiences, not app-driven shopping experiences. Not every company can hire in-house teams to develop and operate Amazon Go apps. Yet every company can outsource.

Retail is online-first, physical-second.

As companies comply with social distancing measures, they are forced to adapt business operations. Companies are forced to go online amidst COVID-19.

Physical experiences operate as extensions of online experiences. Companies must create and optimize online experiences first and foremost. What does a visitor of my online store do? What do I want my online visitor to experience? Companies must adapt accordingly.

Physical places operate as extensions of online places. Online places are areas where visitors and customers gather. Imagine your online store as an extension of your physical store. Your online place is an extension of your physical place.

Customers are identified by name and phone number.

No emails. Just accounts.

Every retailer must convert visitors into customers. But first, retailers must capture visitor data.

Online visitors generate the following data:

  • Pageviews: instances of your store's pages being served.

  • Unique visitors: different IP addresses engaging with your store.

  • Top locations: locations where your store has had the most page views.

  • Top pages: pages of your store that have had the most page views.

  • Top resources not found: resource requests for your store that returned the most errors.

  • Top sources: URLs that generated the most traffic to your store.

  • Bandwidth used: how much data has been served by the content delivery network (CDN) for your store.

Physical visitors generate the following data:

  • Store visitors: different store visitors engaging with your store.

  • Store customers: different store customers buying at your store.

  • Top products: products that have the most sales.

Businesses can refuse new customers if they are not members or account holders. Retail stores can say no to customers who wish to pay anonymously. Traditional companies use email addresses for receipts. Modern companies use phone numbers for receipts.

Benefits

Online-first, physical-second

As companies shift online, they accumulate data about their users. As companies shift online, they enable the capture of new user data.

More visitors become customers. Companies are able to convert more of their visitors to their customers. If a company knows more information about their visitors, they are able to convert them to paying customers. If a company knows more information about its users, the company is able to pursue its visitors to become customers.

More data about visitors and customers. Companies are able to capture more information when the visitors are digital. As visitors and customers are tracked online, businesses can form closer relationships with their visitors.

Visitors and customers can gather online. Online visitors and customers do not need to come to the store to receive service from a company. They do not need to go anywhere physically. They are already online.

Customers are identified by name and phone number

Identifying customers by their name and phone number is essential for business operations. Knowing who the visitors and customers allowed modern organizations to move forward with confidence and deliver the maximum value.

Each person is tracked. Each person must be tracked one way or another. Modern companies store data about their visitors and customers.

Conclusion

Modern retailers must shift from being physical-first to being online-first. In the world of coronaviruses, modern retail stores must adapt not only to survive but to thrive. Modern retailers must shift to online first, retail second.