MOBILE COMMERCE BY THE NUMBERS
Source: Mobile Ecosystem Forum: Global Mobile Money Report, 2015
– 38% of people made a mobile purchase on an app store
– 16% shopped on social media pages
– 15% used a retailer’s payment service on a mobile device (e.g. Amazon 1-click)
CASE FOR CURBSIDE PICKUP
Source: King Retail Solutions, “Consumer Insights Survey Results Highlights”
– 78% of consumers are interested in ordering online and pickup in-store
– 45% of males have made this type of purchase in the past 12 months vs. 36% of females
– Electronics is the most popular category for store pickup
“Stores We Don’t Shop At Anymore”
Not exactly the list that any retailer would want to be on. It’s retail’s equivalent of Richard Blackwell’s “Worst Dressed List.” This list was part of a story published by The Huffington Post just about 3 years ago. The article that day listed 15 stores that were once at the top of the retail charts (and the top of the consumer’s wallet) but, the story claimed, had fallen out of favor with consumers and were on the downward spiral.
In the No. 1 slot, and what prompted the article itself, was Esprit.
Founded in 1968, Esprit was a hot new retail concept known for its hip and trendy fashions – casual, yet fashion-forward. It remained that way throughout the 1980s. Come the 1990s, however, it hit a big brick wall. The two decades that followed were not kind to Esprit. The combination of unappealing merchandise, high prices, selection and competition from a whole new crop of retailers – Zara and H&M, among others – gave Esprit a tough go of it. It closed up shop in the U.S. and Canada in 2011.
Today, Esprit operates in 40 countries with 900 stores and, according to its website, nearly 8,000 “wholesale” points of sale in department stores and via franchisees. And it believes that omnichannel is its ticket back to the glory days it once enjoyed.
Last month, Esprit launched a program for its franchise partners that is one big step in that direction. Franchisees that participate in Esprit’s “friends” loyalty program will receive a 5 percent bonus on purchases made online or in-store. The goal is to make franchise partners feel that online adds, and not detracts, from their business and to give them a chance to profit from that channel without having to do much at all to receive it.
Esprit expects this to boost sales, of course, but it is much more than that. It is about coming to the realization that consumers expect to be able to interact with their favorite retail brand across any channel seamlessly – store organization and structure aside. Rather than force franchise partners to cooperate, they are giving them a financial incentive to play along. Esprit says that it will invest in mailings and other promotions to drive awareness of this “omnichannel” capability by promoting the loyalty program membership.
Esprit also gains something else through this program: data. Data will help Esprit keep tabs on the way in which customers are interacting with the brand across those channels and deliver service that is both relevant and personalized. The program is new but novel – and its impact is yet to be seen. But it certainly does prove the point that omnichannel isn’t just a strategic ambition, but an initiative central to the future of retail.
And, with any luck, one way to avoid getting to the top of the “stores that were once worth shopping at” list.
Until next time,
CEO | Market Platform Dynamics
CEO | PYMNTS.com