Retail Stores are Not Dead and Other News from IRCE18

IRCE is one of the must-attend events for retailers everywhere. Even though the event is designed for B2C organizations, more and more manufacturing and distribution organizations are finding the conference useful for their e-commerce and digital marketing initiatives.

Fast takes and what’s shaking at the Internet Retail Commerce and Expo in Chicago this week

“Retail stores are not dead.” Dave Gilboa, Co-Founder & Co-CEO Warby Parker

The first one came from Dave Gilboa, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Warby Parker, and it’s a line we’ve heard before. Interestingly, Gilboa presented an opposing point of view from what we typically read in the media regarding death of retail stores. With the focus on digital marketing, e-commerce and all things online…the death of the retail store is a sure thing — ToysRUs, Bon-Ton, Radio Shack, Sears — and the list goes on. But then why are uber-successful e-commerce vendors like Warby Parker doubling down on retail stores? According to Gilboa, it is a natural evolution of serving their customers. Is there any better reason that that?

IRCE 2018

Omnichannel retailing means providing a seamless customer experience across all channels (online and offline) and it works, according to an article in Harvard Business Review.

Warby Parker realized their customers wanted more than just online access to their glasses, so they began opening stores in select areas to meet their customers’ needs. Each store is unique, built to reflect the region, using local artists for design, and adding some fun along the way via video games or décor. Because for Warby Parker, the shopping experience for glasses should be fun, accessible to everyone, and they saw an opportunity to flip the model for buying eyeglasses.

Traditional methods for buying glasses meant a visit to a crowded store with expensive frames with complicated pricing modules, locked behind a case without easy access to try them on. At the time, it was unheard of to buy glasses online, let alone be able to try up to five pairs at home for free.

Warby Parker makes glasses more accessible, affordable at $95, and now with 70 retail stores across the US, more fun. Retail stores are not dead, especially when you build and design them to compliment your online strategy and meet and exceed buyer’s needs instead of trying to drive buyer’s needs.

“Everyone is your competition,” Seth Godin, Author, Keynote Speaker and Marketer

Seth Godin made his name helping organizations and marketers break out of the ordinary. Godin reminds us that our world is changing and that “everyone is your competition.”

MORE is a four-letter-word says Godin because everyone wants more, and we are giving them more, but we are not giving them better. And that is the problem with the majority of marketing today.

More is not better when it comes to creating more content, sending more emails, or when selling anything. Marketers need remember that we are selling to a person and just creating more noise, isn’t better. We need to do things differently than the others have done before us. Don’t do more of the same (which is another four-letter word).

Tomorrow is day two of #IRCE18 and the lineup includes Alon Cohen, President, Co-Founder of Houzz and Mariah Chase, CEO of Eloquii. Don’t miss the opportunity to hear first-hand how leading retailers, marketers and innovators are finding success in our omnichannel world and doing things differently than their peers.

Buyers don’t need more of the same, and don’t be so quick to bury the retail store experience if that is what your buyers want. Learn more about how to deliver what your buyers want and optimize the onmichannel experience with this quick video from Office Depot Sweden

Written by

Erika Goldwater, CIPP

Erika Goldwater is the director of global communications for inRiver. An industry veteran, Erika lives and breathes B2B marketing, content, public relations, and data privacy. She's a Boston marketer who hails from Baltimore.