I was just reading an article about the National Retail Federation Conference in NYC that last couple of days. It was a panel discussion with the CEO’s of Macy’s, Crate & Barrel and Montgomery Ward and a number of other retail industry gurus.
What I found particularly interesting were the insights these traditional brick & mortar retailers were sharing about their online retail experiences with their customers.
- Crate & Barrel anticipated they might have a lot of returns from its online store, which includes furniture. Surprisingly, returns are half as many from the Internet compared with its traditional stores.
- The Gilt Groupe hyper targets their email messages to their online customers based upon their past purchases.
- Rue La La’s CEO, Fischman, shared his shock at how quickly customers change and adapt to new technologies. Per Fischman, mobile phone sales were 2% in 4th Qtr. ’09 jumped to 19% in one year.
If any small business in retail is still wondering if they should get serious about having an online presence, the experiences of these Big Boys, should answer that question with a definitive YES, Yesterday! Make it your goal for 2011 to create your online retail presence and to reach your customers in ways they want to be reached. Do it.