With the competition of the grocery industry, you would think big brands like Safeway are stepping up on customer experience. However it’s clear retailers like Safeway are actually cutting their investments in customer experience. You would think during uncertain times, or times of change, big companies would take more risks – making smart customer investments to differentiate the brand. Instead many appear to be freezing up, and cutting costs.
Competition has increased as a result of new markets (sharing economy, meal delivery services etc), new technologies (Instacart, Postmates, etc), and to put it bluntly – Amazon who is massacring everyone. And many retailers choose to hedge their bets by chipping away at their customer experiences. They save money today, but tomorrow will these retailers be here? No longer does being big save you from going out of business. Many retailers, in order to save their business, start by cutting.
Another example comes from Target. No one can ever find someone to help them at Target. Target is an example of a brand that just got too big and too comfortable. Even Target’s COO John Mulligan said recently “To put it bluntly we are slow and we have too much inventory.” Target will be investing $7 billion in the next three years to improve its ecommerce presence, but will they invest in the customer experience — or will they purely get into a price cut blood bath with Wal-Mart and others?