When it comes to achieving success in retailing in the years ahead, one CEO believes deeply that retailers of any stripe cannot operate in only one sales channel.
Retailers must charge forward with a strong plan to be multi-channel in some way and then effectively bind their channels together, contends Eric Faintreny, chairman and CEO of Redcats USA, No. 28 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide to Retail Web Sites. The e-commerce and catalog retailer primarily sells in the fashion category but also operates in the home and gifts categories.
“All the major retail players are looking into this in one way or another. Moving forward they are obliged to rethink the organization of their company and the integration of the Internet channel with other channels and internal processes,” Faintreny says. “We are in the midst of a revolution right now, one that demands change.”
As pure-play web retailers, because of their pioneering efforts in the channel and experimentation with valuable new technologies, continue to pressure multi-channel and catalog retailers to rethink strategic plans, this situation will reverse itself in the not-too-distant future, Faintreny predicts.
When web sales growth slows and the channel settles a bit, he adds, the differentiator in the industry will not be which merchants have the best e-commerce sites but which ones offer the best products, overall shopping experience and customer service.