Retailers fear Amazon, for good reason. Their prices are ultra-low and their shelves are limitless. And the smiling box on your doorstep is a lot easier to find than your size at the store. But what’s really insidious about Amazon is their strong relationship with Millennials. Amazon gives them amazing power. They can buy from anywhere in the world or simply buy nothing- they just close the site. All the buying pressure comes from the buyer. No pushy sales associates. No end of year gimmicks. Millennials sell themselves.
So how do you beat Amazon in the retail game? You must create a difference. Sell something Amazon can’t. But more importantly, you must give your customers power. Charm them, let them be the decision maker. This new retailing builds a moat Amazon can’t cross.
We find an example of that moat in New York City in the fashionable enclave called SoHo. Fortune magazine describes the brilliant merchandising of Rebecca Minkoff, “Designer Rebecca Minkoff is hyper-focused on the millennial consumer–and that means constantly innovating. During last year’s New York Fashion Week, Minkoff live-streamed her show and used drones to get aerial footage of the runway. For this year, she is working with a partner to film the show in virtual reality.”
Suddenly the Rebecca Minkoff www.rebeccaminkoff.com store is a place you want to visit. Once inside the experience takes over and the moat gets built. From WWD,“More and more we are seeing Millennials want to be in complete control of any and all of their shopping, and that includes payment because now they use the most innovative video identification procedure,” said Uri Minkoff, Chief Executive Officer of Rebecca Minkoff. “Long gone are the days where you needed to depend fully on a sales assistant to request new sizes or to ring you up. We needed to continue finding ways to make her feel like she can have multiple experiences.” He said he became familiar with QueueHop through a LinkedIn connection.
The purpose of the self-checkout technology is to increase customer empowerment and control and help consumers avoid lines and delays, especially during the holiday season. Minkoff is utilizing the new technology at its SoHo store at 96 Greene Street. There’s no cash wrap desk at the store and until now, sales associates exclusively used iPads to check out customers. Initially, the new self-checkout technology is available for customers who are buying handbags, scarves and small leather goods. Eventually, it will be expanded to other Minkoff merchandise at the store.”
This is how you build that moat, but more, how retail will get done and then maybe brick and mortar will live after all.
Chief Creative Officer
the damien harvey group