You can’t out Walmart Walmart. You can’t out Amazon Amazon. And most retailers have to contend with one or both of them, or their equivalents. They may be direct competitors or indirect competitors. If you want to successfully compete with them you have to offer what they can’t. And that isn’t usually merchandise, so it has to be customer experience.
This holiday season (when about 40%+ of retail sales will be made for the year) about 40 or so malls in the US are creating a customer experience that Walmart and Amazon and other online sites can’t copy. For some of us the efficiency of online shopping is a plus. We don’t want to fight the crowds or look for a parking place that may get us a lot of steps, but not necessarily the way we’d like to get them.
However, for many there is an opportunity for a real shopping experience you can’t get online. What these malls are doing is adding holiday specific experiences for the shoppers and their kids beyond the typical “mall Santa.” Some are using technology to create unique live experiences. Others create a really special Santa visit effect. They even have Naughty or Nice meters.
Much has been written about the power of customer experience in today’s world, and it is not limited to B2C or just the holiday season. If you want to out-perform your competition, create an experience that matters.