Digitail Fail: One easy thing retailers need to fix as we enhance retail with digital tools

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As brands and retailers continue to up their game in stores via digital tools and devices (aka digitail), one can still observe that they are playing catchup with their consumer. It’s easy to tell how uncomfortable a brand is with the digital literacy of its customer base. What does a bad effort look like?

  • the store provides no wifi
  • store personnel are nervous about show-rooming (or scorn punters who are taking photos inside the store, for fear that the customer is actually the competition)
  • there is no computer terminal in the store for online commerce
  • promotions on the website are not synchronized with the instore promotions
  • the shop window has (at best) a sticker advertising Facebook (as opposed to a QR code and the address of the brand’s Facebook page)*
  • and many more…

*Social commerce done wrong

Even if social commerce (where social media is integrated into the commerce experience) is still infinitely small, you must wonder how some companies are going to get off the ground. First, there is a lingering, almost nostalgic desire from traditional marketers for social media marketing to be free. Breaking News! More likely than not, you need to pay for views. And, some brands get it all mixed up as they actually end up advertising Facebook as opposed to advertising on Facebook. Many (most?) stores seem to get it wrong. They just plonk a Facebook F on the window and think that people will swarm onto Facebook and join their page! Take this store, Jacquie, a mid-tier fashion retailer, with over 100 outlets in Australia and New Zealand. On the face of it, as this sticker on the outside of their store would indicates, Jacquie is keen to promote its digital flagship store (i.e. its eCommerce site). It almost feels like they are promoting the famed “omni-channel” experience?

digitail fail Jacquie - Myndset digital strategy

digitail fail Jacquie - Myndset digital strategyI must say that their eCommerce site has some nice components, especially the little videos of the item on a live model. Not too many quibbles there (although I have one issue I raise below). On the other hand, you have to marvel at the three symbols underneath jacquie.com.au (see right) on this sticker. I mean, did someone actually approve adding an envelope to the sticker? Or was it just a ploy to break up the Facebook and Pinterest logos. I can’t imagine what they wanted to achieve with that envelope. Eagerly jumping onto Facebook to find Jacquie (as I know you wouldn’t), I tried to find Jacquie’s FB page. Turns out there are many pages with the name JACQUIE in it. It was a hopeless cause. Even typing in “jacquie.com.au” did not bear fruit (see below). The only way I found their Facebook page was hidden down on the bottom right of their eCommerce home page.

digitail fail social commerce - Myndset digital strategy

Don’t trust Facebook search for discovery of your page…

What is somewhat beguiling is that Jacquie’s Facebook URL is just facebook.com/jacquie. It goes to show how poorly optimized Facebook’s search bar is as yet. Although Facebook’s search has many interesting features, it is not fully reliable. Jacquie’s Facebook page has 6,600 fans which is nothing to laugh about, on the face of it. [BTW, trying to find Jacquie on Pinterest was even more difficult (here it is).]

Social commerce - lost opportunity

So, here is a retailer who is actively promoting its eCommerce and social media efforts. Kind of what everyone is doing these days. However, you ought to be promoting your good side, no? When I visited their Facebook page, I immediately noticed on the three cardinal sins of social media marketing: {Tweet these!}

  1. sporadic posting
  2. no useful content or conversation (just pushing out new promotions)
  3. not answering to a customer inquiry

Fancy that: a customer bothers to comment on a recent post saying:

I want to buy this kiwi green cardie to match this dress the colors on sale are mint or lime green how can i get my hands on this?

digitail fail social commerce, the myndset digital strategy

So, Gracy posted this request on August 23. As of writing, we are September 1st. It’s not like their page is overwhelmed with comments or Facebook engagement. Surely, someone on the team should respond to Gracy? Leaving her comment fallow will discourage others from participating.

Debugging the user experience

digitail fail Jacquie - Myndset digital strategy

Finally, while I liked the overall look of Jacquie’s website, it’s in the details that you will get frustrated. As a navigation aid, the site offers a price slider in the left hand column. Set at $60-$200, I tried to adjust it to set different price ranges. However, the slider is defunct (aka not operational). Fail.

Digitail – get the basics right first

Getting digitail (digital in retail) right is tall order as it requires breaking down old lines and getting the entire company centered around the customer. And, yet, there is already plenty of room to improve in each of the constituent parts of digitail: social media and eCommerce. It seems like some businesses should preoccupy themselves with getting the basics right before embarking on the more complex challenge that embedding digital into retail involves. {Click to tweet!}

One Comment, RSS

  1. […] experience, all the while keeping the staff involvement optimal. This is what I characterize as a digitail […]

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