Busting retail’s five biggest myths


Many businesses still make their decisions based on outdated myths that are taken for granted as long-standing industry wisdom, but the digital and ecommerce world has changed. That’s why it’s so important to debunk the myths of the past – and replace them with tried-and-tested expert advice.

Adobe recently released a five-part myth-busting video and podcast series called The Debunk, dissecting these outdated rules and discussing what marketers and retailers should be doing instead. Read on for a preview of the discussion and check out the full series here.

Does customer experience matter?

Customer service is no longer the most common area of interaction a customer has with a business. From social media to order inserts, the playing field has changed. Instead, ecommerce companies are shifting to focusing on their experience strategy instead. One way to do this is to establish an emotional connection with your customers. “People forget what you said, people forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel,” says Marie Uhart, Senior International Marketing Manager at Boden.

Is the high street dead?

“Shoppers’ expectations are reset with every download, every click and every visit. So we have to rebuild the experience on the high street, and make sure it’s relevant to people’s lives right now” says Simon Hathway from Outform. And it’s true. Consumers still like to visit physical shops, but they’re visiting for different reasons than they used to. Bricks and mortar shops may offer convenience, but customers may prefer to purchase the goods online or elsewhere. With this in mind, it’s important to remember that today’s physical stores are more about experience and brand awareness than they are about making sales.

Is price the biggest factor customers care about?

Cost matters, but how much? The language you use to discuss your products and services can have a huge effect on how your brand is perceived – and how much you can comfortably charge your customers. For example, is your product £12 a month, or 40p per day? “Whether or not something is perceived as expensive doesn’t primarily depend on how much it costs, it depends what you compare it to”, said Rory Sutherland, VC at Ogilvy

Is more personalisation always better?

Personalisation is a key tenet of any ecommerce marketing strategy, but it’s possible for businesses to take it too far. Not only is collecting and processing the amount of data required to effectively target customers on an intimate level incredibly time consuming, but over-personalisation can put customers off if they feel their privacy is being invaded. Peter Weinberg, Global Lead from The B2B Institute at LinkedIn, says “Personalisation is best when people don’t notice it. The best thing to do is to offer value, context and straightforward interaction.”

Do you need a physical store to offer good customer experiences?

Not having a physical store doesn’t have to mean forgoing the benefits of them. As Covid-19 saw shops closed down, many retailers took their sales assistants online, offering bespoke 1-1 consultations via their websites to replace these valuable consumer interactions. “Serving up the right content to the right audience is key, but also making it convenient for them to receive it fast”, says Hayley Meenan-Wilkin, Web Trading Management, Ocado – so consider where you can add value via your website.

This is just a snippet of the pearls of wisdom dished by the experts in Adobe’s The Debunk. There’s plenty more where that came from, so check out the full series to delve even deeper.

Discover more myth-busting ecommerce insights by watching or listening to the full series. 



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