Today, Amazon unveiled plans to purchase its first bricks and mortar retailer by announcing its intention to acquire Whole Foods Market. This announcement sent shockwaves through the retail industry and from my vantage it underscores an important shift we’re seeing throughout the retail space -- the coming together of the digital and physical worlds (i.e. the omni-channel experience).
Customer experience is a term that will no doubt be very familiar to anyone who works in retail. In today's highly competitive marketplace, when the threat from major online players is greater than ever, there's a growing recognition that stores can no longer compete on price alone.
One of the key questions for retailers in the current landscape is how they can make their offerings stand out in an increasingly crowded marketplace. With big players such as Amazon taking up such a big chunk of the online retailer space, factors such as price are no longer a significant differentiator for many brands. Retailers have to look to other messaging to ensure they maintain their appeal to customers.
Bricks-and-mortar retailers are facing challenging times. With online and mobile shopping penetration reaching a saturation point and Amazon becoming many peoples’ first choice for purchases, brick and mortar retailers need to offer something unique and engaging to stand out from the competition and give customers a compelling reason to visit a physical store.