IN CASE YOU haven’t noticed, brick-and-mortar retail is challenging right now. We can all choose to ignore the elephant in the room, or we can acknowledge that we are experiencing the biggest tech explosion since, well — ever — and innovate.
Let’s take a look at Domino’s Pizza. Why would a pizza company need to innovate? One word: money. In 2009, Domino’s was tied for dead last (with Chuck E. Cheese) in a national taste test. So, with shrinking sales, Domino’s went all-in on revamping their business in 2010 with a new recipe and new approach, and since then, their stock has increased by 2,000 percent. It wasn’t just a new recipe. I’m talking about serious, out-of-the-box innovation.
First, e-commerce. They changed their way of thinking to become an e-commerce company that sells pizza. From social media to smart apps, Domino’s was one of the first to embrace online ordering, recognizing that millennials are more prone to stay in and still need to eat. But they didn’t stop there. They own online in many areas; they even have a bridal registry. Yes, that’s right; Domino’s Pizza has a bridal registry. Things. Are. Changing.
If a pizza company can innovate like this, imagine what you could do if you really put your mind to it. That means taking a hard look at the industry and your business, introducing marketing media you may not understand or personally believe in, breaking your business and your customer apart and understanding what makes them tick. It also requires money. That may mean new money or re-allocating your current spending. Rethink your business and commit to a plan.
Now that you have an idea of what re-imagining your business is all about, here’s the rub: It doesn’t stop. Technological innovation is increasing at a rapid pace, and it’s difficult to stay in tune with all the minutiae. So, what trends could impact your store in the next five to 10 years? Well, we already mentioned e-commerce, yet most retailers are still just standing there like a deer in the headlights. Most of the time, they just don’t want to spend the money, but at the risk of losing business? It makes no sense.
Let’s be clear, most retailers convert less than 3 percent of traffic into an actual purchase online. So it’s not really about online sales. It’s the entire site experience that allows consumers to make the decision to purchase, whether online or in-store.
So, if some can’t even embrace e-commerce, which is far from new tech, how can they begin to process or react to other things, like VR (virtual reality)? One day, you’ll be able to walk into a virtual environment that is hard to distinguish from real life, and when that day comes, I want our retailers to be there saying, “Let me show you this ring.”