Without a doubt, we’re going through some highly uncertain times due to the current digital revolution, especially when it comes to retail companies. Only a few days ago, the retail company Forever 21 filed for bankruptcy and has since closed around 300 stores with ongoing shutdowns. A clothing empire that we thought was going to stick around for the longest of time has actually broken down under digital pressure and is currently trying to find other ways to keep itself relevant.
The reasons for bankruptcy are various: breaking environmental rules with its mass production, the increase in online shopping preference, aggressive expansion, the “death of fast fashion”, disconnecting from their customers and better competitors available on the market.
While reasons are plenty, the most alarming ones are of course, the increase in online retail and losing touch with customers.
E-commerce affects countless of physical businesses. How to adapt?
It’s no secret that once online platforms have emerged, plenty of physical businesses have registered a decrease in sales, especially in the retail world. Out of convenience and a greater variety available, consumers turn to the online world for their purchases and many shops are forced to close down, as was the case with Forever 21. The market is expanding and there are countless options for customers out there so one thing businesses can do is try to find that “je ne sais quoi” that differentiates them from other retail companies.
The situation proves out to be dire as terms such as “zombie retailers” and “retail apocalypse” have been coined to describe the precise state in which retail is currently in. Around 15 physical shops are closing in the USA per day, retail specialist Doug Stephens warns and while more and more experts are addressing the causes, retail continues to lose ground to online shopping one click at a time. We’ve seen it happen with Forever 21 and we’re certain it’s going to target other seemingly-safe brand names as well if business owners don’t invest in analytics nor accept to adapt to the current and future changes.
So how do you stay relevant? Wiacom.ai recommends an analytics Guest Wi-Fi provider to help you stay connected to customers and find out exactly what they want.
We’ve seen Forever 21 decrease in popularity over the years due to easily-avoidable factors, which goes to prove that retailers have to maintain a constant business-savvy attitude in order to stay relevant.
Instead of investing in opening more stores or sprucing up your venue, Wiacom.ai encourages shop owners to join the digital revolution and make use of the advantages Wi-Fi analytics has to offer.
Here are just some of the benefits Wi-Fi analytics can offer for stores like Forever 21:
- Always stay connected to your customer
No matter where your customers are on the globe, they have access to your services and you have the option of collecting information based on age, gender, location and more. This can help you target your products to the right clients and increase your profits considerably.
- Improve your business
By knowing what your clients like and dislike exactly, you have the chance to improve your services and reward your customers with the best products and experience possible.
One of the problems with Forever 21 was that it no longer paid attention to their target audience and their clothes began losing their identity. Add that on top of the “fast-fashion” concept becoming obsolete and you have the beginnings of their downfall. However, if they had collected data properly and had extracted the relevant info needed to solve their issues, they would have lasted longer if not forever.
One of the solutions they had tried was that of massive discounts and promotions which works only if your competitors follow the same trend otherwise, adopting this strategy as commonly and as often as they did puts your image to risk and diminishes your importance as a brand. It doesn’t matter if you offer discounts if your customer no longer wants your product. On the contrary, collect feedback, improve on your product and the customer will buy it without any additional incentives.
- Find new ways to do business
Sometimes, the best ideas come from your customers. When you really look at the people who buy, you discover patterns and you can identify new directions to adopt for your business. We’re talking about a customer journey and helping him/her discover what’s best. Analytics through Wiacom is the method of finding solutions to current problems. For the first time, you can listen to the true voice of your customer.
If you plan on staying competitive on the market, you have to remain focused and digital. The world is changing and e-commerce is gaining ground through marketing campaigns, analytics, feedback & survey campaigns. Online buying can no longer be underestimated. Great focus is placed on reaching people through digital means and improving their experience from the comfort of their homes, their laptops and especially, their phones.
With the increase in business all around the world and on all available platforms, you need to find ways to be better and convince the customer to buy from you and not the other.
Sell emotion. Listen to your customer. Enhance their experience. Are you digital yet?