As retail gets into full swing, what are customer expectations when visiting physical stores? We’ve started conducting retail safaris in London and on the whole, there’s a clear lack of investment by both brands and retailers. This is understandable as staff have been on furlough and plans have been slow in getting the necessary sign-offs, but what are we really looking for when venturing out? First, let’s look at how Amazon has shaped the online world in Jeff Bezo’s last annual letter to shareholders in which he points out that Amazon Prime saves its customers a vast amount of both time and money, read this extract taken from here:
“Customers complete 28% of purchases on Amazon in three minutes or less, and half of all purchases are finished in less than 15 minutes. Compare that to the typical shopping trip to a physical store – driving, parking, searching store aisles, waiting in the checkout line, finding your car, and driving home. Research suggests the typical physical store trip takes about an hour. If you assume that a typical Amazon purchase takes 15 minutes and that it saves you a couple of trips to a physical store a week, that’s more than 75 hours a year saved. That’s important. We’re all busy in the early 21st century.
So that we can get a dollar figure, let’s value the time savings at $10 per hour, which is conservative. Seventy-five hours multiplied by $10 an hour and subtracting the cost of Prime gives you value creation for each Prime member of about $630. We have 200 million Prime members, for a total in 2020 of $126 billion of value creation”.
We’ve all become accustomed to buying goods online but there are some things that are unmatched for e-commerce. Fashion, food and even buying medicines are simply better experiences in the real world because we want to touch, try-on, smell and taste things before buying. We’re also relying on expert advice and guidance which means we place value on those serving us. Brands and retailers that understand shopping is a sensory activity that takes into account a number of touchpoints will always remain relevant.
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