e-Commerce: It Shouldn’t Have to Be One-Size-Fits-All
In the brick and mortar world, different stores are merchandised to reach different audiences and satisfy different customer groups. While a Safeway in California has in stock BBQ coals now, it doesn’t have snow shovels as the Stop and Shops here do. Apparel retailers similarly adjust by demographic and geography– a Bloomingdales in the suburbs carries different brands than a Bloomingdales in New York City, and a Gap in Minnesota will carry and display more weather-appropriate clothes than a Florida Gap will.
e-Commerce stores actually have MORE information than these brick and mortar stores. Especially if you are signing-in as returning customer, they know your age, where you live, what you have bought before, and potentially other demographic information as well. Even without a sign-in, e-Commerce stores know at the very least your IP address, which traces to a physical location.
Yet, if you log onto Bloomingdales.com or Gap.com anywhere in the country, you will see a landing page with the same merchandise displayed– a one size fits all approach to the entire universe of online shoppers. Why aren’t e-Commerce stores differentially merchandising?
Wouldn’t it make sense that younger people see different brands than older people? That people in perpetually warm climates not be served hat and glove merchandise on the homepage?
Clearly, if the brick and mortar stores are finding it beneficial to customize merchandise, there should be similar benefits to doing it in e-Commerce too. Have I misjudged what is possible? Is it too technically difficult? Is it just not prioritized? I’m puzzled– anyone know the answer?