Shopper Speaks: Wealth Prefers the Internet

The most obvious sign I saw when shopping in stores and visiting the mall in early November was “We’re hiring.”

Messy stores, holiday deals at work, and stores prepare for all the important holidays. Let’s face it – not everyone is ready for primetime shopping. However, my email inbox suggests subject lines ranging from “All the warmth you want“for”Bring on holidays. Is the web ahead of the curve again?

Apparently every store was employing Madewell, part of J.Crew Group Inc. #80 in the 2021 Digital Commerce 360 ​​Top 1000, Try to make an extra special impression with the sign below. One of the biggest concerns I foresee is taking care of customers when they come into the store. Additionally, as I came across at Walmart Inc. 2 in the 2021 Digital Commerce 360 ​​Top 1000, and the other stores I visited, the messy stores were failing to keep up with the everyday “care of the store.”

Madewell messy walmart store

Store management will be different as retailers devise alternative solutions to best serve their customers. Previously, I tested online purchase, and in-store pickup at Kohl’s Corp. 18 on the 2021 Digital Commerce 360 ​​Top 1000, which the retailer appears to be servicing outside the fitting room. Now, the apparel retailer is taking a hint from Amazon’s coffers and is turning toward a self-service model, where shoppers find their orders online themselves.

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It’s easier to design a web than a store although even the best retailers should do both

Before getting into e-commerce, I spent 15 years on the store side. Getting ready for the holidays included a well-crafted plan that should fit right in. As I browse the internet, there are countless examples of enticing gift centers complete with holiday themes that make shoppers wonder if the internet is where retailers think the payoff will be. But in store, some merchants seem to have missed out on this early date while others seem ready to take on the challenge.

Kohl’s Corp, was one of the stores that seemed to have appeared on the face of the game. it’s a the present The top view, shown below, provided an inviting atmosphere for holiday shopping, as well as additional gift offers spread across various sections from household goods to toys and women’s clothing.

Kohl's Brentville

Ulta Beauty, #45 in Digital Commerce 360 ​​Top 1000 of 2021, has designed themes under the “Celebration” umbrella across channels. In the store, Ulta displays sub-topics such as More gift, more warm And the together more Create a unified gifting strategy.

Ulta moree gift ulta . gift guide

Nordstrom Inc. , #20 in the 2021 Digital Commerce 360 ​​Top 1000, It is one example of a retailer setting up their stores and the web to achieve success. Signage in the store greeted guests’ arrival with a catchy holiday offering promoting familiar omnichannel services like order pickup, which were just steps away. Nordstrom also designated additional holiday properties for curated merchandise in the nearby shoe department, making for a festive environment. And online, Nordstrom shows gifts by price, offers free appointments, which can be virtual or personal, and features gift cards to cover any other concerns. Nordstrom promotes the “Make Merry” slogan in-store and online with a software guide that includes everything from festive photo booths to Breakfast with Santa, albeit still virtual.

nordstrom omni gift Holiday region Nordstrom Nordstrom Gift Guide

Out of stock is clearly visible in stores and can be better hidden on the Internet

In a year when shopping early due to the prospect of running out of stock is the hot topic, the store is having a tough time competing. Retailers can tackle their supply chain issues online with filtering and algorithms that display only what’s available and never miss a thing. In-store, in sections ranging from tight clothing to the all-important toy category, shoppers will find some retailers lacking when it comes to stock depth and not offering the best of it all.

macys . empty shelves target rack game Walmart empty rack 4

Promotions may be more obvious

So how things looked when it came to promotions as one of the primary predictions of the season is that there will be a lot fewer. It doesn’t seem like anyone has promotions that are all-encompassing in nature. Instead, Kohl’s had exact examples of digital pricing, Ulta had a $5 stuffing box for $5, and Target Corp. 6 in the 2021 Digital Commerce 360 ​​Top 1000, it had many endings with holiday merchandise at perfectly reasonable prices. and Best Buy Co. Inc. , which ranked fifth in the 2021 360 Top 1000 digital commerce competition, lined up in the ranks of televisions, preparing to draw shoppers in the early morning of Black Friday. Sephora knows that initial price points are important and has highlighted gifts starting at $10 to appeal to price-sensitive shoppers.

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But don’t worry because some retailers like Target and Best Buy as well as Dick’s Sporting Goods, #29 on the 2021 Digital Commerce 360 ​​Top 1000, tell customers they don’t have to worry because they have a price match guarantee.


Loyal customers are the focus and reward programs increase opportunities

Rewards are especially important for retailers with an omnichannel approach, as they hope the service will gain new customers and retain existing members. Coach showed its Coach Insider program in a mall store window to attract passersby while Target promotes red card at the register and customer service, knowing that shoppers will have time while they wait to complete transactions. Kohl’s Cash is as much promoted on digital price banners as it is on the web and at customer service counters.

Coach_coach from the inside Target Rewards Kohl Rewards

Stores lead customers to the web

One of the most striking aspects of my store visits was the sheer number of ways stores told their customers to go online. Dick’s Sporting Goods had table banners with a big message “more” on what could be found online including more styles, sizes and colors. Kohl suggested to shoppers that by using a QR code with their phone’s camera, they could shop for more essentials at home. A QR code is perhaps a merchant’s new best friend.

kohls holiday dispay with buy more qr code online dicks more on dotcom

As you enter Nordstrom from the parking lot, you can’t help but read all of their signs letting you know there are more options online and you can pick them up tomorrow. This will definitely be something shoppers think about before they make their next visit to the store. Target tells you to quickly track the next run of your goal by taking advantage of receiving orders with signs posted near the self-checkout. And at Kohl’s, if you can’t find the style you’re looking for, you can probably find a solution at Each of these retailers uses in-store properties to attract online shoppers.

Nordstrom Omni kohls_find more styles online

Retailers look to benefit from increased use of mobile devices

Retailers know the value of a shopper’s phone number, and signs at Dick’s Sporting Goods show their willingness to give customers $20 for $100 a purchase. Retailers including Best Buy and Dick’s Sporting Goods also believe that the apps are powerful and that these stores proudly display ways to interact with mobile devices via signage as shoppers enter the store and as they walk through the sections. Macy’s also encourages shoppers to look for more, as does the 4-star Amazon store.

Convincing shoppers to use these apps should lead to positive shopping experiences. They will save time and their multi-channel features can lead to customer loyalty.

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Can virtual appointments replace store partners?

On the outside of J. Crowe’s window, on an urban neighborhood shopping street, was a message that encouraged private shopping, a powerful carryover from the days of the pandemic. When visiting Lululemon Athletica Inc. , in a suburban mall ranking #35 on Digital Commerce 360’s Top 1000 Best Business Companies list for 2021, holiday themes weren’t there yet. However, she continued to promote messages at the front window that included taking advantage of shopping dates. I tested a hypothetical Lululemon appointment during the height of the COVID-19 lockdowns, and it tested positive and appears to be a lasting model.

lululemon appointments

Gift Card Might Be Your 2021 Virtual Vacation Gift

Retailers seem to have more gift card offers than I can remember in years past. Nordstrom had a deck of cards while the target placed them near the log. It was great to see displays on the table promoting the ‘Gift for All’ along specific products and behind the cash envelope. When all else fails, a gift card will be a problem solver.

nordstrom gift card

Retailers use a variety of tactics to prepare for the holidays this season. In a world where the supply chain is being challenged, they still need to do their best with in-store and on-site experiences. The store may be forced into self-service forms and QR codes that drive shoppers to apps and omnichannel visits completed via curbside pickup. Creativity in promotions will be in play rather than overall sales. And perhaps some of the solutions retailers have honed during the pandemic will prove to be year-round customer favorites that help boost buying behavior amid high shopper satisfaction. We can be sure of one thing. It will definitely be an unforgettable holiday.