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  • Writer's pictureJohn DeCaprio

Oh, retail, how I’ve missed you...

Updated: Jan 27, 2021

Love letters to retail - Correspondence #1 (read the next in the series)

Dear Retail,

I miss you. My longing to return to you as I remembered it, is so great. We had so many good times within your four walls. Honestly, I just can’t stop thinking about you. I think about you all the damn time. For the sake of our future, I hope you miss me as much as I miss you.

Love, your biggest supporter.

One of the quotes I heard often while dating was “If you love someone set them free, if they come back, its true love”. Interestingly, this is exactly how I feel about shopping in stores. COVID forced me to set aside my love of retail exploration and I am patiently awaiting their (it's) return. I know it may be wrong in today’s craziness, but I just can’t stop daydreaming about how much I miss time spent with friends and family exploring the latest trends. As we enter a new year full of possibilities, I am plotting my return, in hopes that retailers come back with a renewed enthusiasm for my safety and need for an experience that feeds my passions.

My relationship with retail is complex, we have been codependent for some time now and I have not been able to go cold turkey since our breakup. I have spent time with store’s siblings, eCommerce and Social Media, returning to my first love to pick up packages at the curb and in store, making sure to minimize my human exposure.

My close friends reminded me that our relationship was not perfect prior to our breakup. They are quick to point out how selfish you can be, placing your needs ahead of mine. They mentioned how this continues today, as you have prioritized time away from the service and support I used to receive for operational priorities such as BOPIS (by online pick up in store) and Curbside Pickup. Don’t get me wrong, these demands for are a necessity for our relationship. That being said, they do not stoke the feelings of love I have for you, they just make me respect it more.

If we are to fall back in love, I really need you to pander to me with engaging mini adventures that spur my passions, proactively anticipating my needs. For the record, this is not accomplished when you follow me around the store or ignore me completely, neither extreme makes me want to spend time with you. I need to know that you are maturing into something I would want to brag about to my friends.

It’s really not that hard, you simply have to pay attention. Imagine my surprise if you showed up when I needed you, at just the right moment based on my dwell time around a specific product, display, fixture, category or department. I would simply love this level of attentiveness, and it would do wonders for the suspicions I harbor about where you are spending your time when I am not with you.

You know how much I obsess about topics I am passionate about; I wish you would stop pretending to know more than I do. Imagine my surprise if you were this self-aware and comfortable connecting me with an expert who shares my passions and can really address my questions regarding styles, trends, product features, uses, and fixes. I would happily connect with remote associates while in store via real-time chat or video calls as I’ve become so very comfortable with this during 2020.

Finally, please stop telling me the same stories over and over again, I am so tired of your droning on about the same content, as if my needs are the same as every other person who walks in the door. Imagine my surprise if you were to tailor your stories to what may actually be meaningful to me based on my age, gender and dwell time. This level of personalization would genuinely improve my ability to accomplish my goals, helping me progress through my purchase journey, delivering content that is truly relevant, that entices me to make the decision to buy. If you are interested in exploring further, consider leveraging an outside consultant that can help your team navigate the process efficiently. Curious about the topic, lets map the journey together:

Dear Retail,

My friends have relationships with other stores that are attentive to their needs, why can’t our relationship be more like them? I so want to fall back in love with you, can you please do some sole searching, find the courage to meet me halfway? I promise to return the love, along with my friends, our passions and our wallets.

Love, your biggest supporter.

I digress. Evolution of customer engagement, service and support tools has been a rally cry for some time now. A variety of tactics have been market tested and are now readily available for deployment at scale. The roadmap for which has been paved by a variety of retailers who had the foresight and funding necessary to navigate.

Thank you for exploring Love letters to retail - Correspondence #1 (read the next in the series)

Explore the topic further within our Closing Retails’ Experience Gapwhite paper, we detail Three Quick Win Tactics that you can leverage to show consumers some much needed love, while driving bottom line success.

About: PANDECA is a consortium of independent consultants led by John DeCaprio, an industry veteran with experience scaling global enterprise level solutions spanning eCommerce, Omni-Channel and Store Engagement platforms. A focus on operational excellence and bottom-line impact is leveraged to deliver value across the purchase funnel.

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