Many traditional retailers are already living in a “digital first” world. If your brand isn’t quite there yet, it’s likely only a matter of time–a short time.
Digital first means that even if the customer ultimately buys in a brick & mortar location, their journey starts online.
Digital first means that the primary way prospective customers learn about your brand is through your website, social media or online peer-to-peer reviews.
Digital first means whether the customer comes to your store for a particular transaction or not is determined by how well your online or mobile presence meets their needs in a highly relevant and compelling way.
Digital first means that holding on to the customer relationships that matter is largely determined by how well your digital tools eliminate customer experience friction and are rooted in a treat different customers differently philosophy.
Digital first means that the way your customers activate their passion for your company and become true brand ambassadors is primarily by sharing their remarkable experiences via their smartphones, tablets and other digital devices.
Digital first retail profoundly changes the way we engage customers, the way we deploy technology and the way we re-envision the physical store experience. It causes us to break down our silo-ed thinking and organizations to put the customer at the center of everything we do.
It’s not easy.
It’s not inexpensive.
It’s not without risk.
But frankly we have no other choice but to embrace it and get on with it.
And I’d hurry if I were you.