One of my favorite marketing sayings is “honor channel preference”. It alludes to the fact that what sales and marketing professionals think is important / valuable is completely secondary to what their target audience’s behavior indicates.
The evolution of the internet has totally altered how sellers and buyers come together. Brick and mortar have been impacted seismically over the past 20 years and the Pandemic has accelerated a lot of trends, most notably, an increase in reliance on ecommerce and remote activity.
What really got me thinking this week is an article I read explaining how Simon malls (largest operator in the US) is in discussion with Amazon to lease out shuttered Sears and JC Penny stores across the country for their fulfillment needs.
Does this mean that malls are dead? I don’t believe so at all, but it does mean that their business model is adapting to consumer behavior. It may well be that an Amazon warehouse in a former Sears location could drive more profit for the mall than a fledgling department store. In most communities, malls are centrally located parcels of commercial real estate; ideal for high volume geographically driven deliveries (of ecommerce sales).
Think about how paradoxical it is that malls across the country are rumored to be partnering with Amazon.
This all begs the question (to ask yourself) of whether your business is attuned to the nuances of your audience. Are you honoring their channel preference and making it as easy as possible for them to do business with you? The answer is increasingly tied to the effectiveness of your website, social / ecommerce….digital marketing capabilities.