While IKEA made an announcement this week about their growth plans, targets etc there was one item that stuck out. It is not just the fact that they are going to ramp up e-commerce, not even that they are going to use the e-commerce platforms of others, but the stand out point is how they are thinking about the changing nature of how their customers buy.

We are all too well aware of the massive out of town IKEA stores. They had to be out of town to accommodate their size and customer traffic and logistics. Now they are openly saying that many customers no longer want nor are willing to go to the trouble of visiting their stores. In response they have and are setting up city centre stores and looking to online. Experience in the shop, buy online. Instead of click and collect it is moving towards brick to click. Experience, click followed by delivery.

It is a sign of a true business leader, bearing in mind they are still growing, to not just notice the changing consumer buying patterns, oft referred to as Customer Journey. No, that is common enough. Acting on this information is what speaks volumes.

For those businesses that are still considering the impact of digital, usually interpreted as those that secretly hope it will go away, it may well be time to act. Any business looking at the facts will notice the following, the extent of which will vary:

  1. Footfall is down
  2. Sales are steady or even up, counter to how it was in the past, tracking footfall
  3. Sales conversion rates are going up
  4. Website traffic is increasing
  5. Social references to your business are growing
  6. Website requests are increasing as people increasingly gather more information at home

Reality checks:

  1. The relationship between footfall and sales is still relevant but it is totally different to what it used to be. Take note of this change or run the risk of experiencing the carnage in your business that your lack of action causes.
  2. Sorry sales people, I am one as are all business owners, but the better sales conversion rate has little to do with you and more to do with how customers now buy.
  3. Customers, be that consumer or business do not want to really engage with sales people until they form their own opinion and are closer to the buying decision.
  4. The internet has empowered people to have the information to hand that will help them to form their own opinion before purchase. The increase in website requests will confirm this, if you have a website that supports your business. If you don’t you will need to.

Dealing with this change in how customers buy will open up new opportunities to those brave enough to take them. Those that are not brave enough, well you never know, maybe the internet will go away…

Digital Scorecard identifies how well a business uses digital along their Customer Journey and where improvements can be made. To discover more about using digital along your Customer Journey as well as an opportunity to get involved click here.