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Could a Digital Transformation Have Saved Payless ShoeSource?

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More people are opting to shop online rather than in stores. This trend comes from the ease and convenience of online shopping. At the click of a button, many consumer goods can be delivered within a week. This, alone, grabs the attention of consumers because it doesn’t interfere with their routine.

Recently Payless ShoeSource filed for bankruptcy for the second time, with the clear intention of closing all 2,100 locations in the United States and Puerto Rico. The company also closed its e-commerce site according to Forbes.

Why Did This Happen?

Over the past few years, aggressive competitors entered the retail market and changed the shopping experience in stores and online. These competitors include Zappos (a division of Amazon), Kohl’s, Walmart, Target, and others who provided more captivating merchandise offerings. Therefore, a visit to a regular Payless store became irrelevant.

The Payless liquidation came to be because more people are opting to shop online rather than in stores, which is at the core of the shoe company’s strategy. However, the lack of e-commerce explains only part of Payless’s challenges. While Payless fought to stay top-of-mind with shoppers, other retailers continued catering to bargain-conscious shoppers.

Keeping up with emerging fashion trends and building attractive stores requires constant investment, which was a challenge for Payless. Many of the company’s stores have also been hurt by their location which are placed in struggling malls. As other primary stores close in a mall, traffic slows down due to limited options for a consumer.

How Can You Prevent This?

If you’re going to survive in a dynamic, digital global marketplace you will need to embark on a digital transformation journey. Digital transformation is the realignment of, or new investment in, technology and business models to effectively engage customers at every touch point in the customer experience life cycle.

A successful digital transformation should:

  • Define your vision, align your strategy, and create your roadmap
  • Build memorable, personalized, inviting and sustainable experiences
  • Efficiently and effectively manage operations to digitally transform
  • Deliver engaging experiences throughout the customer life cycle

Digital transformation is a journey that impacts every area of the organization and companies that delay or ignore, risk becoming irrelevant.

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