Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share
18 November 2019
eBay commercial highlights retailers’ laughable problem
Man, does the newest eBay commercial really lay it on brick and mortar retailers. In spots running on your airwaves, the e-tailer shows shoppers at stores laughing wholeheartedly at the thought of actually buying something at the store.
“The reality the eBay commercial highlights is that it may just be too late for the brick and mortar folks. The world has changed so much that it’s laughable to purchase inside a store.”
Even though the spots emphasize cost, the focus is on how ludicrous it feels to actually buy goods at retailers’ shops. It feels right, in way, and lays out the biggest problem retailers face today.
The market has simply passed them by.
The eBay commercial certainly pains retailers who have seen their relevancy fall while e-tailers like Amazon and eBay rise. To counteract that, retailers fumble, often trying to improve the in-store experience. Sometimes, in ridiculous ways.
JC Penney’s adding yoga classes to many of its shops, while Macy’s hosts craft classes for the holiday season. There are many more examples, but you get the point.
As the eBay commercial details, retailers are getting desperate.
eBay commercial says the retail model has changed
We at Stealing Share have constantly emphasized that retailers are dealing with the wrong problem. They think they can out-retail their way out of the problem. When the real problem is that few of their brands are emotionally persuasive enough to create preference. I mean, the Apple Store doesn’t have this problem.
The reality the eBay commercial highlights is that it may just be too late for the brick and mortar folks. The world has changed so much that it’s laughable to purchase inside a store.
Our own research suggests as much. Many people browse at a retailer, especially for clothing. Try something on, write down or remember the size, color and style, then simply purchase online.
The retail model needs to change. That’s really the underlying message of the eBay commercial.
Does that mean all brick and mortar stores should go away? Not necessarily. Retailing is a little bit like banking. Our own research demonstrates that about half of the population never goes into a branch. Yet, there’s a comfort in seeing one nearby.
Yes, without a doubt, retailers need to create persuasive brands to stay alive. That’s paramount. But they also need to recognize that the market has voted, and they’re laughing at their instance of ignoring the result.
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