Customers Buying Habits Are Changing. Adapt or Watch Your Business Die

Customers Buying Habits Are Changing. Adapt or Watch Your Business Die

Every day I get an email from RetailWire.com, a daily publication that is read by thousands of people in the retail industry. It’s the number one forum for discussions about hundreds of important issues in the industry. Now, before we go further, even though RetailWire.com focuses on the retail industry, what I’m about to share is relevant to every business in every industry.

A recent article in RetailWire posed a question about virtual reality and if it will make brick-and-mortar stores less relevant. By the way, if you haven’t experienced virtual reality, you must. It’s incredible. You put on what looks like goggles and you see the most amazing three dimensional images and videos. Okay, back to answering the question. My response was that virtual reality and augmented reality are just enhanced ways of viewing and experiencing products online. Yes, it will change the way people shop online, but it’s still “virtual.” It’s not real! You can’t touch the material to determine the quality of the suit or dress you’re looking at through a virtual reality headset. You can’t try it on either. So, how could this technology make physical stores less relevant?

The discussion of physical stores becoming irrelevant has been a topic of conversation for years. The first online purchase was made in 1994. According to a video produced by Shopify, an online shopping software program, the first online transaction was on August 11, 1994 through Dan Kohn’s online startup company when a friend bought a Sting CD over the internet. People said this kind of business would never work. People would never buy online. Well, never say never. Shortly after that Amazon came into the picture. And, here we are today.

Adobe’s research claimed last year’s Black Friday’s online sales were over $3 billion. And Cyber Monday’s sales, just three days later were also over $3 billion. Forrester predicts that by the year 2020, just three years from now, online sales will exceed $523 billion!

So, should retailers be scared? Maybe… because some retailers aren’t willing to change. And there are companies in virtually any industry that aren’t willing to change either. So, here is the lesson:

Business – in all industries – is changing. The old saying is true: The only thing that is consistent is change. So, get used to it.

Will online stores kill physical stores?

Did ATM’s eliminate bank tellers?

Did “Video Kill the Radio Star” when MTV went live back in 1981?

The answers are no, no and no!

Maybe the consumer is migrating to do more shopping online. It may make a physical store a little less “relevant” – but it doesn’t make the retailer less relevant! A retailer, as anyone or any company in business, must adjust and change. What makes a retailer less relevant won’t be because sales are moving from in-store to online. It will be because the retailer doesn’t adapt to the way their customers want to buy. And, it’s the same for any business. Your customers buying habits are changing. Adapt or watch your business die a slow and painful death. You must be willing to change as your customer’s change.

Shep Hyken
Client Experience
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Shep Hyken is a customer experience expert and the Chief Amazement Officer of Shepard Presentations. He is a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author and ... Click for full bio

Most Read IRIS Articles of the Week: July 17-21

Most Read IRIS Articles of the Week: July 17-21

Here’s a look at the Top 11 Most Viewed Articles of the Week on IRIS.xyz, July 17-21 2017 


Click the headline to read the full article.  Enjoy!


1. Is Alternative Beta the New Fixed Income?


The fee debate raging across mutual funds has long since seeped into hedge funds. Certainly the direction of travel on hedge fund fees was already downward, as strong industry competition and underwhelming performance have taken their toll. — Yazann Romahi

2. The 5 Big Questions for the Second Half of 2017


Equity markets continued their strong run in the second quarter of 2017, thanks to the global economy hitting its stride and registering the fastest level of growth in six years. For the first time since 2011, the U.S. is no longer the only shining star as economic momentum picked up across the globe. — Sonu Varghese

3. Smart Beta ETFs: The "Dream Diet" for Your Portfolio


What’s powerful about Smart Beta is that it allows investors to target very specific factors to create an ideal portfolio based on a given asset allocation.  — Salvatore Bruno

4. D‐O‐L = Confusion, Frustration, and Finally Reluctant Acceptance and Hope


At almost every financial and insurance conference we’ve attended in the past year, sessions to discuss the Department of Labor (DOL) Fiduciary Rule have been among the most popular. — Merriah Harkins

5. How To Hold A Stress-Free Money Conversation


In researching high growth professional services firms we made an eye-opening discovery. Those firms that did systematic business research on their target client group grew faster and were more profitable. — Michael Kay

6. 12 Financial Truths (Including Some You Won't Like)


We live in a noisy world where wisdom is hard to discern.  Here are a dozen financial truths honed from more than three decades of observation. — James E. Wilson

7. Are You Responsible for How Others Take Your Actions?


If you keep getting the same actions or responses from your interactions, it is most likely you that is the problem.  Stop blaming others for your issues. — Matthew Halloran​​​​​​​

8. 4 Surefire Ways to Enhance Your Influence


Being influential through your verbal and non-verbal communication Monday to Monday® requires deliberate practice. You can’t read how-to’s in a book or rely on your title and comfort level to be influential. — Stacey Hanke​​​​​​​

9. How Business Owners Allow Coffee Shops to Waste Time and Money


We all search for the least chaotic place to work and think. However, your location could hurt your productivity. Here’s why…. — Jennifer Goldman​​​​​​​

10. Four Simple Tricks to Find Your Passion That Work Every Time


You’re supposed to have a single burning passion, right? To feel this incredible drive to do this thing that you love. — Alli Polin

11. The Greatest Disrupter to Your Future Practice Will Be Your Clients


Real innovation, and real disruption, will be concepts and methods which “do new things that make the old things obsolete”. — Tony Vidler

Douglas Heikkinen
Perspective
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IRIS Co-Founder and Producer of Perspective—a personal look at the industry, and notables who share what they’ve learned, regretted, won, lost and what continues ... Click for full bio