I can’t stop shopping online, even at the store
This weekend, for the first time, I told a small business store owner that I decided not to buy the product I’d brought up to the counter because, in the 3 minutes it’d taken him to ring up the person in front of me, I’d found the exact product, on Wal-mart.com for $20 cheaper.
And while I felt really bad that Big Box was crowding out the little guy (and I was helping them do it), I couldn’t justify paying $20 extra when I could have it delivered the next day and not really have to wait for it anyway.
Gian Fulgoni, the co-founder of comScore Inc. posted an interesting blog on how power is shifting to the consumer because pricing CAN’T be the differentiator anymore – physical stores will lose almost every time. And while he focuses on better advertising being the answer for companies and retail stores, he also affirms that the total all around brand experience is the real key to differentiation.
After this weekend, I’m inclined to agree with his assertion that both better advertising and a more integrated, engaging entire brand experience HAVE to replace the old paradigm of price being the deciding factor.
Investing in the brand experience is no longer a nice-to-have. It’s a necessity. Otherwise, everything you can find online (which is basically anything you can think of) will soon become commoditized.