A statement I use frequently as I’m engaging with retail leaders at all levels. ALL LEVELS. CEO to floor manager to sales associate. When is the last time you personally experienced your “omnichannel experience”?
Visit your website and buy something. Or visit your website to research and then cross the physical threshold and visit your store(s). Now back to your website. And then maybe to social channels for validation. And a bunch of other steps in there somewhere. That ball of yarn that is the consumer journey. That experience. Your omnichannel journey. Shop it. No filters. No excuses. No going easy. Give your “experience” the same level of harsh critical feedback that you would give the sites you just “abandoned” or “bounced” from in your last purchasing journey. Give it the same level of critical nature you would give your top competitors. Shop yourself.
“If it’s all important – then nothing is important.”
WHEN you shop yourself frequently (which you should), I promise you that you will have a never-ending list of items that you just “don’t like”. Maybe it’s look and feel. Maybe it is product mix. Maybe it is pricing. Maybe promotions. Maybe something just feels “clunky” and just doesn’t flow, or worse, just does not work (for example a link that goes nowhere or worse it dumps you at an empty 404 page). Maybe it is just the littlest of things that just irks you like the copywrite year at the bottom of the page. There is always something. It is all important absolutely – but as leaders, what moves the revenue needle most? That is a key differentiator as you prioritize what to tackle first, second, third, etc.
A great way to correlate “shopping yourself” is the think about how much time and effort and focused dedication that retailers exert in keeping the store(s) just perfect. Everything down to the angle of the lights and the fresh-baked aromas. All that attention to detail. Now with that “fresh” in your mind – go start making that list as you “shop yourself” starting with your online presence. That is where consumers start. I hate to break the news – your finely tuned store is probably an omnichannel “bottom of funnel” step for the consumer after you win (or lose) the engagement with them online!
Quick reminder: Too many times leaders ignore the big and scary and daunting and expensive as they perform this exercise. Far too many times, leaders quickly hyper-obsess on the tiny. The store has burnt out lights, and they worry about the empty coffee cup. Without lights, the consumer isn’t going to see the cup! I’m NOT saying that the tiny doesn’t matter, absolutely, It all matters. But what really moves the revenue needle matters most. Big, scary, daunting, costly – that is it. Those are the top projects. Prioritize and execute. And then go do it again. And again.
Quick reference: if bounce rate and abandonment rate mentioned above are new to you…
Bounce rate is an internet marketing term used in web traffic analysis. It represents the percentage of visitors who enter the site and then leave (“bounce”) rather than continuing to view other pages within the same site.
Abandonment rate is the ratio of the number of abandoned shopping carts to the number of initiated transactions or to the number of completed transactions. A typical shopper compares at least FIVE different websites for the product in which they have interest in before electing to transact with ONE.