Retail Shopping Habits

Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share

4 January 2018

Consumer Shopping Habits. Change.

Do we need an official report on holiday sales figures to see that shopping habits have changed and that the changes are permanent? I don’t think so.Shopping habits

The current retail model of anchor stores with an on-line presence is a Band-Aid over mortal wounds. (Read about retail troubles here)

Evolution in retail means extinction

Darwin informed us. Experience teaches us. Survival favors change. Species either evolve or fall victim to species that adapt better. In some instances, like the catastrophic meteor that doomed dinosaurs, change advances rapidly. Some can’t adapt quickly enough.

Current retail is the endangered lot

shopping habitsRetail changes moved like glaciers in the past. Watching the sea of ice move made tortoises and sloths look like speed demons.

The movement from small specialty stores to larger department stores was such a change. Even the Mall movement took decades.

Buying mostly online took just a few years.

This year, online shopping is no glacier. It is the lava flow from the fiercely erupting volcano that darkens the entire sky. Stand still and you will find yourself encased in lava. A Pompeiian relic of lost civilization.

“Online shopping is the doom of most retailers. They don’t need to adapt. Retailers need to start eating their young. They are too attached to defending a model that is not life sustaining.”

Shopping habits are habits

I like that imagery a lot. What better describes brick and mortar retailing than pumice?

Old retail models (read a retail market study here) cemented to the ground in superheated stone. Choked to death in pyroclastic gases. Dying as they hopelessly try to maintain and protect the storefront.

It does not take long to change shopping habits

shopping habitsMost of my Christmas shopping was online this year. Half of my wife’s was too. (And, judging by the numbers, yours was too.)

So, it’s not just a guy thing. Shopping habits have changed because of experience. It’s simple. Fast. Convenient.

And it is reliable. Mostly.

I had two gifts arrive on the 27th. A burp rather than a belch. Not enough to worry me. I ordered those two gifts late. Shame on me, not shame on Amazon.

As soon as logistics catch up — death arrives

How far away is same day delivery? On EVERYTHING? There is no reason to shop at a store when the logistics permit it.

shopping habitsSo why is this such bad news for Target, Walmart, Macy’s and JC Penney? All have online portals.

Because they see it as defensive. A means to capture a small piece of the retail pie.

The danger is greater than that. They are dinosaurs. And, as such, they still want to have enough food to feed their enormous bodies.

They have a fundamental problem. Tied to expensive real estate they need to feed that furnace. Amazon plays with the idea of retail stores. But, it’s not necessary. Or needed.

You can’t imagine shopping without dressing rooms?

Shopping habits are like telephone habits. Let me list them.

retail shopping habits“I need a landline.”

“Texting is so impersonal.”

“Who needs internet in my hand constantly.”

“Convenience is secondary to security and safety.”

Mark my words. Macy’s is the new Blackberry.


See more posts in the following related categories: Amazon Holiday shopping JC Penny Macy's Malls online shopping Retail Retail changes


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