Study shows that the retail category is in the dark ages

Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share

27 March 2015

The retail industry needs new ideas

Well, well. So consumers aren’t happy with the way retailers are integrating (or not integrating) in-store, mobile and online. What a surprise.

I say this to point out a retail study we did some months ago that demonstrated just how poorly the retail category has approached the digital age – and what is at risk.

“The retail category knows it is under siege. Sales are down, creating a kind of inertia among retailers.”

This week, Accenture, a consulting company, announced a survey with consumers that should make retailers quiver in their pants.

retail category

Retailers are terrible at making this easier.

Less than half of the respondents (42%) find it easy to use their mobile device to shop with the retailers while 82% say store prices should be the same as online. Yet, only 34% of retailers actually do that.

It gets worse. Only 53% of retailers optimize sites for tablets, which is a shockingly low number. To be honest, I would have thought every retailer would have done that by now.

What’s the problem?

The retail category knows it is under siege. Sales are down, creating a kind of inertia among retailers. So they fall back on weekly sales, hyping the brands of items in their stores and shudder to think of the effect of e-tail, especially with Amazon looming out there like a coming zombie apocalypse.

This kind of thing does happen in many industries as brands are reluctant to do anything new so they simply re-hash what has worked in the past. (Or, more honestly, kinda, really didn’t work.)

This is a common rant of mine but part of the problem for industries like the retail category is that they think they have to use the same consultants and ad agencies that someone else in their category has used before. Like knowledge of the industry really makes that much of a difference. It only means you churn out the same drivel year after year.

A plea to retailers. Get it together, think forward and call me.

See more posts in the following related categories: Retail brands Retail study

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