With so much focus on e-Commerce today, brick-and-mortar strategies can fall through the cracks. But only 15% of consumers opt to shop exclusively online, according to a survey from Forrester and RetailNext. So even though e-Commerce sales are soaring, retailers should also continue to focus on improving the in-store experience.
Creating a unique shopping experience in brick-and-mortar stores and figuring out ways to keep customers coming back is no easy feat. Identifying strengths and weaknesses is a great place to start. For example, even though Target experienced 34% e-Commerce growth and 1.9% growth of in-store sales in Q4 2015, the retailer recognized the need to improve aspects of the brick-and-mortar store experience.
With a focus on motivating shoppers to stay in-store longer and return to shop again, Target will be working on the following strategies:
- Improving merchandising and supply chain efficiencies;
- Updating its appeal to Millennials; and
- Revamping store layout and design.
Simplifying Merchandising And Supply Chain Operations
One of the biggest problems Target is dealing with is out-of-stock inventory. “When you talk to our guests, the number-one pain point is that we’re out of stock,” said COO John Mulligan, in a statement.
To help resolve these issues, Target appointed former Amazon executive Arthur Valdez as the new Executive VP, Supply Chain and Logistics Officer.
With Valdez’ help, Target will focus on streamlining size assortment, while working with vendors to improve packaging and shipping protocols. "It's going to be very surgical, category by category," said CEO Brian Cornell during an investor event. "We are not taking a blunt instrument approach to this."
A Bulls Eye On Millennials
“We recognize we have a lot of work to do in food,” Cornell told investors. “We won’t get there overnight.”
In addition to a focus on grocery, Target is adding some other Millennial-oriented strategies in the home, beauty and apparel areas. For starters, the retailer is upping the ante on its designer collaborations with younger-skewing brands, including Who What Wear, a popular online fashion magazine, fitness empire Soulcycle and Finnish design company Marimekko.
Maximizing A Reinvention Of The Store Experience
Prior to these most recent changes, Target stores already had gone through a mini-makeover that had a significant impact, including adding:
- A line of gender-neutral children’s décor targeting Millennial families;
- Four new, Target-exclusive beauty brands with ingredients and packaging that appeal to a younger audience;
- More mannequins to display apparel; and
- A showroom-type area in the home sections to display trendy décor.
"We have to be focused on driving traffic to our stores and business to our site," said Cornell in a statement. "We're making sure we’re focused on innovation. We’re elevating our focus on trend, and we’re certainly elevating the quality we’re putting back in the product.”
Whether it’s upgrading the e-Commerce or in-store experience, retailers need to keep up with the changing times and consumer base. Staying on board with trends and appealing to younger generations can launch a brand to the next level.