This question arrived in my email inbox this afternoon. It related to my post last week where I proposed that clothing manufacturers should be doing a better job of collecting and sharing clothes sizing data. I actually don’t see why, if anything, rocking a better data model couldn’t help our town centres. Anything that has the potential to help a retailer to add more value to the customer has to be embraced as an opportunity rather than a threat!
Life Style Sports are a great example of an Irish retailer who embraced the dawn of online shopping and turned it into a real opportunity to provide a much better customer service experience. Under the stewardship of digital guru, Gordon Newman and powered by their existing delivery ecosystem, Lifestyle created two innovative new services: 1. ‘Click and Collect’ and 2. Next day in store delivery.
Offering these services made it quicker, easier and free for customers to order clothing form the Life Style Sports website and then have it delivered to their local branch the following day. This also was a boon for ‘in store’ shoppers who may have wanted a particular item that was out of stock on the day but that could be delivered to their desired store by the following day instead.
Another great example of re-thinking a possible ‘online’ threat into an ‘offline’ opportunity can be seen at independent bike store, MBW, Moycullen, Co. Galway, Ireland. Store owner, Garry Davoren, recognised that he couldn’t compete with the major online bike stores. So he launched his “buy online, fit local” campaign.
Gary spotted this opportunity by rather cleverly recognising that although it’s super easy for most people to click buttons to save a few euro while shopping online, that the majority of online customers actually welcomed the opportunity to pay an experienced bike mechanic locally to ensure that their new bike was set up correctly or that a replacement component would be properly installed.
Worth noting that Gary has also regularly develops really great amazing digital visual and video content for both the store as well as Kona Ireland and various other brands including the Wild Atlantic Way. His shop videos combine great fun with solid product information while his adventure videos provide pure adrenaline driven inspiration! Check him out on Instagram and you can find the shop on Facebook.
These are just two great examples of Irish retailers identifying, and re-thinking potential online threats, instead of running away from them they actually embraced them as opportunities that could be re-engineered to create extra value for new and existing customers!
So how could a better data model be viewed as a massive opportunity rather than a threat to town centre /high street retailers? It’ll be easier quicker for any sales assistant, irrespective of experience, to help a customer identify clothes in stock that are likely to fit best. It should also lead to less waste in the longer run as the stores build up their own customer size profiles making it much easier for them to more accurately predict the sizes that they’ll most likely need to order a season ahead too!
Thanks to last week’s reader for this great question — I was delighted for this inspiration to share these inspiring stories from Gordon and Gary! Got a question for me or an example of a local business that you you who are crushing it on and offline? Let me know in the comments or message me directly here!