Opentalk video 3

Opentalk 2017 was packed with thought leadership from some of the most customer-centric leaders and companies of our time. The Opentalk 2017 Video Library is your team’s chance to re-experience those speaking sessions. Here’s more information on one of the videos available in this library.

Retail Customer Support: Big Box vs. Mailbox
Session Host / Moderator:

  • Thomas Lee, Business Columnist at SF Chronicle


  • Gautam Gupta, CEO, Naturebox
  • Lucas Peterson, Director of Customer Advocacy, Belkin International
  • Mark Lovas, Co-Founder and CEO, Trumaker

Session Questions and Highlights:

1. What do brick and mortar stores need to do to evolve and stay open?
“Brick and mortar stores need to adjust to product experience level. The higher the experience level (the more you need to see, touch, feel, try on/try out a product) before you purchase it, the more the customer will desire to go to the store to test it out.” – Gautam

“Otherwise, with products that are not ‘high experience products’ the question becomes, do I need it now or can I wait a couple of days and order it online?” – Lucas

2. Big store brick and mortar retail has worked since the 1960s. Is there now something fundamentally broken about this distribution model?
“No. Fundamentally, we are still a retail culture/consumer society. However, the big brick and mortar stores are slower to adopt. Really, I think that the old financial and fiscal approach is the broken part of it. Online retail disrupted the financial model for brick and mortar.” – Lucas

3. Can a company thrive on the Big Box store model alone?
“No. It’s about offering multiple points of acquisition. The more points of acquisition the better. In this way, it’s about organizing around the customer.” – Mark

4. Let’s talk about on demand like Airbnb, Uber, or immediate delivery. How much on demand is too much?
“Amazon has changed the game so much. They’ve set a new expectation. Now the expectation is 2 days whereas 5 years ago people were happy with 2-7 days for shipping. People will even consider overnight delivery to their hotels when they are traveling if they forgot their charger, instead of going out and finding a store. There is the convenience expectation of ordering online and expediting shipping.” – Lucas

5. What about the dichotomy between the perceived loss of brand loyalty in exchange for personalization and immediacy, and the growth of smaller retail stores and discovery shopping. Can these two co-exist?
“My sense is that the future of retail is again in discovery-style shopping, and that online shopping will become more about refill orders to keep the customer in stock with their favorite items or brands.” – Gautam

“Brand loyalty is on a steep decline, especially in electronics. And, where you can really help your business stand out is in customer service. Customer reviews are really important. We put the ‘star’ ranking on our products in brick and mortar stores because that is a huge influencer in purchase decision making. Otherwise, price is going to drive the decision.” – Lucas

“There are people who shop for entertainment. And other people who shop to solve a problem. So, depending on why the customer shops, they will choose one over the other.” – Mark

Want more? Click watch the entire session to learn more about how our panelists feel about:

  • Men vs women in retail
  • The inside scoop … do retailers like the way Target, Walmart, Best Buy, Costco and Amazon etc. sell their products?
  • Smart home technology and how that influences purchasing and customer experience
  • Returns, delivery issues and customer service beyond the initial purchasing transaction
  • Which retailers are ‘killing it’ right now?

Psst! You can catch more videos like this one, visit the Opentalk 2017 video library by clicking the button below.