7.8 Billion on Cyber Monday of Cyber Week – Is Brick and Mortar Retail Dead?

It’s the holiday season 2018, that peaceful time of the year when we focus on the most important things in life – being with family, celebrating faith traditions, entertaining friends, and relaxing – wait I must be under the influence of eggnog. Let’s try that again…

It’s the holiday season 2018, where Cyber Monday broke records with more than 7.8 billion dollars spent in 24 hours. It is that time of year when Black Friday starts on Thanksgiving and runs through the following Friday and where Cyber Monday has morphed into Cyber Week. It is also the time when pundits predict the end of human-service delivery.

As a customer experience consultant, I have worked feverishly to help companies catch-up to the digital transformation and develop online sales options.

Fortunately, most company’s I’ve worked with have pivoted effectively. Leaders have amped-up online sales capacity while also developing and positioning talented human experience providers. Yes, those companies are still using people and not simply relying on robots, artificial intelligence, and computer code.

The art is placing people where and when humans can add unique value.

These leading companies understand that people still (and I argue will always) add a dimension that machines can’t deliver. A recent, extremely well-designed, global study conducted by PwC validates the importance of well-placed human service providers:

New technology tools are tantalizing and sometimes necessary, but

the human touch remains enormously important. Today, 64% of U.S.

consumers and 59% of all consumers feel companies have lost touch

with the human element of customer experience. 71% of Americans

would rather interact with a human than a chatbot or some other

automated process.

After consumers click to buy, people will work with robots to pick and fulfill orders at Amazon and other online retailers.

Technology and people will partner together to get packages to your door. When items fail to meet your needs, technology and people will interface to enable returns.

When problems escalate or technology glitches, the customer will leap over technology solutions and ask to speak to a person. It will be through your people that your customers will gain peace-of-mind.

Cyber is defined as relating to the characteristic of the culture of computers, information technology, and virtual technology.

This may be cyber week but that doesn’t mean that your businesses should adopt a computer culture.

I’d argue that computers and information technology should be tools serving a human experience culture. To deliver optimized human experiences, both people and technology are required.

Successful brands will use the right tools at the right times, for the right reasons.

How are you deploying people and technology to serve your human experience culture? I would love to hear your answer and, if needed, help you on your journey. Simply use your technology to reach out to us. By the way, Happy Cyber AND People Week.

Smoke over black background

Joseph A. Michelli, Ph.D. is a professional speaker and chief experience officer at The Michelli Experience. A New York Times #1 bestselling author, Dr. Michelli and his team consult with some of the world’s best customer experience companies.

Follow on Twitter: @josephmichelli

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