Fixing the retail industry

Picture of Tom Dougherty
Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share

8 October 2020

Fixing the major issue for the retail industry? Not so fast.

The major issue facing the retail industry is, of course, the explosion of online shopping. Especially on Amazon.

In reaction, many retailers simply cut costs, close stores and wonder what could have been. Hell, among them is Macy’s, a retailer I’ve certainly blasted over the years for failing to acutely define its brand. That’s why the retailer is closing a fifth of its locations over the next three years.

retail industryBut Macy’s is making an interesting move by piggy-backing off another brand and simply joining the crowd. The retailer is partnering with DoorDash to deliver same-day orders from their locations.

The partnership doesn’t solve everything, of course. Its appeal comes more from DoorDash than Macy’s. A relatively new entry into food delivery service, DoorDash has taken market leadership in just a little over a year. It’s sped past GrubHub and Uber Eats with 35% of the market.

“But the Macy’s-DoorDash team-up is only a tactic. It still doesn’t fix Macy’s problem or will for anyone else in the retail industry.”

The retail industry still facing the same problem

The idea of partnering with such a service will certainly be copied by others in the retail industry. It’s a useful tactic in the fight against Amazon. As long as the retailer’s online system is appealing and easy to navigate. And that’s not always a given. I’m constantly amazed how giant corporations foul up their apps and online systems. (Anybody using the NFL app on their Apple TV understands what I mean.)

But the Macy’s-DoorDash team-up is only a tactic. It still doesn’t fix Macy’s problem or will for anyone else in the retail industry. Consumers may use the service because they understand DoorDash and prefer it. But they aren’t becoming Macy’s loyalists over it.

The retail brand still remains wanting. It means little. And same-day delivery won’t create brand preference. Consumers have little to no emotional reason to prefer Macy’s over any other retailer. Or, more significantly, over Amazon.

The combination of a meaningful brand and a partnership with somebody like DoorDash would create a powerhouse. Retailers just need to learn how to make their brands about the customer and not themselves. We can teach you how. Drop me a note if you’d like to become that powerhouse.

See more posts in the following related categories: online retail Retail


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