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Retail Tech

Online shopping has been attributed to the demise of the Mall era and brick and mortar locations big and small. Is it true or just whispers from Amazon's Marketing department?

An interesting case study is presented with the bankruptcy of Express clothing retailer. A traditional foot traffic driven business casual retailer, they managed to attract customers during the rise of eCommerce and overnight delivery. However, Express hit on hard times during the pandemic. As working from home became the new normal so did office dress.

To attract customers Express launched a mobile app offering the convenience of shopping at any time and notifications when new items arrive. Express's most loyal customers adopted it and revenue increased by 27% year on year. Express focussed on social media platforms and storytelling marketing campaigns with the goal of targeting their demographic and bringing the brand back from the dool drums.

Alas adding new tech and investing in social media engagements did not save the clothing retailer. Their customer habits had changed. Business casual is not longer a thing. The onesie with rainbow stripes is now in. Express reached out and engaged its customer, but never stopped to understand them. 

No, Express was not driven to bankruptcy because of low price on-line retailers, nor did new technology save the business. Express failed to recognized a change in customer habits and paid the price. The mobile app was a success, but the content was not. Technology is a platform with which to displaying products, data and services. It is import in modern times to have IT consultants who deliver technology, but equally important to have consultants who ask questions and approach solutions holistically.

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