Fall of retail giant proof the future lies in digital engagement

Myer is in trouble.

The retail giant survived the advent of the automobile in Australia, which claimed the scalps of many a retailer that located itself around public transport.

It weathered the storm of discount retailers like Kmart which claimed enormous chunks of the market in recent decades.

And, for the most part, Myer has managed to combat online retailing through its own digital shopping networks and click and collect option.

But now the numbers are down. Two years ago Myer released its new strategy targeting sales growth of 3 per cent between 2016 and 2020. In the last year, profits have tumbled 80 per cent.

It's back to the drawing board for Myer, and proof that just having a prestige brand or adopting slash and burn sales is no recipe for success in the modern world.

Because the companies that are succeeding are adopting true digital engagement models, where their customers have never felt closer to the brand despite interacting almost solely on their mobile devices.

Let's use the humble pizza as a case study

Once the domain of family Friday night all-you-can-eat feasts, Pizza Hut has been in steady decline for the best part of a decade.

Meanwhile, their primary rival Dominos continues to generate new successes, new audiences, new stores and new products. Why? Marketing.

While Pizza Hut remained stagnant through traditional methods, Dominos established a solid social media platform.

This includes two-way conversations with a dedicated media team, videos and tactile posts that tap into modern wants, needs and trends.

Australian CEO Don Meij even posts videos himself on a regular basis, using his catchcry 'we're listening' to deliver consumers what they want.

Retail successes using digital engagement

Australian clothing retailer General Pants Co is using digital engagement to bring more foot traffic into their stores.

It is doing this by adding digital kiosks where customers can 'try on' clothes and share in-store to channels like Instagram.

This is just one step retailers are taking to improve their engagement and digital presence, with the future to hold more options to tap into augmented reality to enhance the in-store experience.

It is the retailers who succeed on the digital front that will emerge victorious, while those that tread the same old path could well be left in their wake.

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