Click here to preview the new Fast Company

Want to try out the new

If you’d like to return to the previous design, click the yellow button on the lower left corner.

Retail Customer Experience Executive Summit

Monday, August 08

If you've ever browsed the shelves at your local bookstore only to go home and purchase online, you're a brick-and-mortar retailer's worst nightmare. As former giants like Borders moved toward bankruptcy in 2010, U.S. e-retailers hit $165.4 billion in sales — twice as much as five years ago. Traditional outlets are left with one competitive advantage: customer experience, the talk of this Minneapolis forum. Barnes & Noble, for example, offers deals to those who visit stores with e-readers. "Best-in-class retailers," says event producer James Bickers, "compete on more than price."

Friday, August 19 >>

Add New Comment


  • Stuart Bogue

    In the slightly different area of motorcycle accessories ,it is not uncommon to have someone come in the store and try on helmets,jackets,gloves etc. I train my staff to view this as an opportunity to show off our service and knowledge. On more than one occasion,we have turned a planned internet purchase into an instant sale. More commonly,we see that customer back at a later time,looking for more of what they can't get online. We also make sure and plant a healthy dose of doubt as to the freshness,availability,returnability/exchangeability,insurance costs etc. etc.,just in case they have a bad online experience,we can say we told you so....Bottom line is that a "price only" customer uninterested in our service and knowledge is not our target customer and we are happy to see him go. Our time spent with them is well worth the effort for the reward of finding a service oriented customer who values what we sell,which is our service,knowledge and understanding of their particular needs.Any yimyap can cut a price.No one else  can be me...