Specialty Retail 2016

My first response, Duh. The fact that specialty retail is reeling and brands and specialty retailers don’t necessarily have a solution other than optimizing platforms as Mr. Galloway suggests is not a big surprise. Why? Look at their organizational structure. Most big brands have a VP of Sales, VP of Marketing, VP of Brand/or Creative Director, VP of eCom/or Direct Sales, and a CFO and COO. They are all measured on unique metrics and measured on channel sales and success. Resources are doled out based on which channel has the best ROI, business plan, or argument based not on their consumer’s end user experience, but on industry trends and big data market movement metrics. If you’re watching L2 to know what’s coming next, good on ya, but it’s looking in the rearview mirror as far as your own customer’s user experience is concerned.

Brands and retailers that structure their organization around the idea of facilitating their collective customers’ task list are the eventual winners. Meaning, companies focusing on “Service Design” are standing out. The two winners according to Galloway are Amazon and Sephora. It’s easy to see why. Their end user experiences are steeped in optimal user experience design based on the respective tasks at hand. Amazon serves the get in, get out buyer better than anyone. Sephora is servicing its customers’ tasks via contextual content. Everything you need to know when you need it in platform-relevant user interface design. The mobile experience is unique to the desktop experience because… well, because they are different. Both companies are working from an outside in perspective on how they uniquely facilitate their customer’s needs.

Take a look at your own organization and ask yourself, is my customer's experience a reflection of my customer’s needs or is my customer’s user experience a reflection of how we are organized internally? If your answer is the latter you won’t be featured as a winner on L2 any time soon.