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US stores look to reboot growth in digital world: Moody's

Aug '18
US stores look to reboot growth in digital world: Moody
US department stores are emerging from a protracted period of underperformance with a leaner and more refined focus, says a new report by Moody's Investors Service. While many still have a distance to go in taking the friction out of shopping for increasingly demanding customers, early indications are that the biggest companies are making important progress.

"To do so, companies are undertaking the expensive but necessary process of rolling different shopping platforms—online, brick and mortar, and smart phone apps—into one," said Moody's vice president Christina Boni.

Department stores are employing a range of strategies as they seek to satisfy customers spoiled for shopping choices, he said. Some are harnessing big data to build loyalty programs, which have become critical differentiators among stores, while others are providing product and inventory information online to save customers time or are steering customers toward more cost-effective behavior, such as returning products to stores.

Some offer customers free shipping when they spend more than a certain amount, a press release from the company said citing the report.

Department stores must continue to allocate capital spending to technology. Mobile applications are critical to remaining relevant, with shopping apps becoming the norm for many customers, allowing them to check prices, make payments, manage reward programs and track orders, the report said.

At the same time, department stores can leverage their online capabilities to mitigate some of the challenges associated with managing large, mall-based stores, the report added. (DS)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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