IDG Contributor Network: Retail’s digital catch-22
The Internet Retailer Conference and Exhibition, held late last month in Chicago, is an annual opportunity to take a pulse on the state of the retail industry. This year’s event, occurring simultaneously with Toys R Us’ final liquidation sales around the country, was infused with increased concern over whether retailing will ever “get back to normal” (it won’t), but also with uncertainty about whether the journey to digital will be path to success for great retail brands or just another opportunity for false hope.
Much of the industry has recognized that to be successful in this new digital world, they need to adapt their customer experience to deliver an elegant omnichannel journey. Macys, Target and many other leading brands have been investing mightily in digital and successfully improving their customer experience. But it’s becoming apparent that there is a mathematical problem associated with this strategy.