Moondog Marketing is proud to have Brian Gracon guest blogging this week. Brian is the author of “Meconomics® 101: 16 Ways to Improve Your Marketing, Selling and Business Management for Today’s Consumers.”
That’s right. Brick-and-mortar retail isn’t dead, and I’ve got proof!
In a recent interview with Jon Buscall for the Moondog Marketing podcast, I discussed the changing nature of retail. Primarily, I emphasized the importance of brick-and-mortar businesses providing a customer experience that e-commerce can’t provide. In fact, if retailers appeal to the right customer self-images, and they entertain and pamper customers, they increase their chances of prospering despite the retail apocalypse.
Here’s a current example of exactly those strategies at work, executed very well by Ross Dress for Less. (Ross Dress for Less is a chain of “off price” department stores.)
You hear every day about the retail apocalypse. Retail stores are closing everywhere. In fact, Retail Dive keeps a running list just to keep up with the closings. That means doom and gloom for everyone in retail, right? Well, not necessarily. Ross Stores, Inc. is in the middle of adding about 70 Ross and 20 dd’s Discounts stores in 2017 for a total of 88 net stores opened in the last year. What's more, their same-store sales are up 3% and total sales rose 7%.
How the heck are they doing that? Aren’t they paying attention? Don’t they know about the apocalypse?
Hidden Treasure in The Retail Experience
Here’s at least part of the answer:
I took this picture in a Ross Dress for Less store a few months ago. Now, think about the implications of this message. When you’re in a Ross Dress for Less store, you’re on an adventure after accepting the challenge to search and find treasure (e.g., the perfect dress at a fabulous price or that one-of-a-kind home decoration item). You might not know what you’re going to find, but you sure are going to have fun while literally “hunting” for it. (And, if you see it, you better buy it – there are other hunters out there.)
Ross has managed to turn searching for stuff on heavily-laden racks and shelves into a treasure hunt. And it’s a very different, hands-on, “3-D” customer experience. Take that, e-commerce!
So: is Ross Dress for Less success an accident or the result of a terrific strategy? Let’s “explore” that question.
Strategy, Not Luck
Clearly Ross Dress for Less is providing an entertaining treasure hunt. By doing so, they show just how well they understand their customers. First of all, they appeal to a bargain-hunter customer self-image (there’s that hunting thing again!) who wants an entertaining, discovery-type shopping experience. And, she wants to pamper herself by getting items she might not otherwise be able to afford.
Self-image, entertainment and pampering strategies — and 88 net new locations. That’s definitely the result of a strategy.
What self-images does your business target? Furthermore, how can you turn your customer experience into an entertaining adventure that helps customers pamper themselves? Answer these questions and improve your prospects despite the retail apocalypse.
Image courtesy of Brian Gracon.
About the Author
Brian Gracon helps clients develop marketing and training strategies and skills that deliver results. He’s the author of “Meconomics® 101: 16 Ways to Improve Your Marketing, Selling and Business Management for Today’s Consumers” available in print and digital formats. You can learn more at www.meconomics101.com, www.traininggetsresults.com, and https://www.linkedin.com/in/hirebriangracon. Or contact Brian at 1-404-771-3405 and firstname.lastname@example.org.