Retailers–Missed Opportunity of Mammoth Size

CIQ Trends

Last Thursday I did a radio interview for a streaming site geared to the retail industry. And I was reminded of one of the Great Unanswered Questions of the Internet: Why are retailers so slow to catch on online opportunities?

This question is over 10 years old for me. And it has a direct relation to media, advertising and online content.

Like almost everyone, I grocery shop. A lot. Like at least 3 times a week. And I don’t think I’m unusual. Many people go more than I do. I am lucky enough to live in Manhattan, where I can avail myself of Fresh Direct. But there’s other stuff I forget. Or maybe I’m just in the mood for something else. And in my wallet, I have five frequent shopper cards that are falling out all over the place. All the time.

So it’s not as if these stores don’t have data on me. But I never get email from them. Never, ever, ever, not once, nada, nil, nothing. Yes, I get email from Target. But only since I started to shop them online. In the 5 or so previous years I only went to a brick-and-mortar store, I never got an email.

Why, God, why is this touch point missed entirely? There are so many marketers in my inbox I don’t want to hear from. Please, Mr. Food Emporium, could you send me an email once in a while telling me that you’ve got a special shipment of strawberries? I’d really like it. Oh, and, I’m sure there are about 47 brick-and-mortar stores in our zip code that would pay you for co-registrations. And I would like to hear from them too– especially that wonderful stationary store down the block. I really want to know when they are having a sale. Not to mention the local theater group. You could ask me for my email at checkout. That’s how you got me to sign up for that stupid card that’s always falling out of my purse.

In an age where Ford is so desperate to find a new way to reach consumers that they have 104– yes that’s one-hundred-and-four— branded-entertainment projects teed up in Hollywood, it seems just silly that there is such a huge gap in what is a great advertising platform. Oh, Mr. Food Emporium, betcha Ford might be interested in co-marketing to your email list as well.