Getting More Clicks at the Bricks

Retail stores are scrambling to catch up with shoppers empowered by the web. What it comes down to is realizing that online, consumers have more control than ever before, and that you must figure out ways to translate that control to the consumers when they are in-store.

Some interesting success stories:

  • Bloom - Visitors to can key in a shopping list and get a printout of the aisles they need to hit. That can be risky, because when shoppers know what they want and where to find it, they may be less likely to buy on impulse. Echoing the Internet's user-generated craze, Bloom also lets people "build your own six-pack" of imported brews.
  • Barnes & Noble - kiosks that allow people to search inventory, locate merchandise, and order out-of-stock items.
  • Nordstrom - a personal shopper keeps 5,000 customers in a database and routinely blasts come-ons to 500 of them - says they are selling 37% more merchandise as a result. Now Nordstrom is experimenting with text-messaging the cell phones of younger customers.

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