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StrategySep 21, 2015

Are You Guest Obsessed?

Emily Schulhoff

Confession: I sometimes go to Nordstrom just to relax. I credit my grandmother for this slightly odd trait. Growing up in Oklahoma, we didn’t have Nordstrom, so any trip to Dallas, San Diego, or any other city with this coveted store involved a stop. While there are no longer live piano players in every location, I still find it to be one of the most comforting and calming places to be. Plus… who can’t use a new pair of shoes every so often?! Whether shopping online, from my phone, or in their store, I can quickly find just what I want, and if the shoe doesn’t fit (literally), the return process is always easy and the clerks are friendly.

I had the opportunity to hear Jason Goldberger, President of Target.com and Mobile, present at the Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition (IRCE) this summer, and he summarized my experience with Nordstrom quite well: be guest obsessed, not channel obsessed.

Customers are shopping a brand, not a store versus website, or phone versus iPad, or shipping versus pickup. He offered several interesting statistics specifically related to his segment of Target, online and mobile:

  • 11% of Target sales are ecommerce, and they’re expected to comprise 18% by 2030

  • The customer base is changing—millennials will replace boomers as the biggest shopping group by 2017 (just two years away!)

  • 25% of digital orders are ship-from-store or ship-to-pickup at the store

  • 50% of their capital dollars are spent on technology now, and they’re building an operating model and talent to support it

  • 70% of their digital technology is brand new

Overall, their focus is on deeper engagement and customer loyalty rather than incremental purchases. They’re also choosing to embrace change.

Goldberger said he’s regularly asked, “How are you going to beat Amazon?” He has a great answer: “Simple. Target.com won’t beat Amazon. Target will beat Amazon.”

So are you guest obsessed? We would love to chat with you about your customer experience and the strategy, organizational change, and technologies that create consumer loyalty and catapult brands to success.