Now, as an eCommerce Brand first, Payless has Returned.

In January, Payless finished a yearlong journey of its’ bankruptcy, and they just announced a return to the marketplace as primarily as an eCommerce retailer. 

Conveniently in parallel with the shifting trends of retail due to the 2020 COVID-19 Pandemic, Payless has launched its’ new eCommerce site and will soon reopen 300-500 stores across North America, starting with a concept store in Miami, FL. These reopenings contrast from their 2019 direction with the bankruptcy, where they closed more than 2,000 stores.

Making the shift to eCommerce, Payless is viewing their retail locations as less of a need for point-of-sale but more to drive consumers as a marketing tool. Payless CEO Jared Margolis told Adweek, “From our new experiential stores featuring modern designs with onsite digital components to our online marketing via cross-channel programs with CRM touchpoints, the new Payless had to be all connected.”

In a recent article, I spoke on the value of Customer Experience Automation as a Significant Revenue Opportunity, and the direction of Payless with this move aligns with this thought. Moving to eCommerce, Payless really for the first time beyond may be asking for an email address at check-out for an optional e-receipt will now obtain 100% of its’ online consumers email address. The email addresses will not only be packaged with the customer’s name but also with their purchase history and location to dynamically tailor recommendations or offer individually. This consumer profile with dynamic, individualized communication will drive higher customer lifetime revenue and potentially higher average cart prices.  

A cross-channel marketing strategy is not limited to retail vs. website, but also the ability to consistently drive the messaging across the site, email, text, social media advertising, search & display advertising. The Aberdeen Group reports a 9.5% vs. 3.4% YOY increase in annual revenue of companies with strong vs. weak omnichannel companies. 

We also know that from a Forrester study that “39% of consumers are unlikely or very unlikely to visit a retailer’s store if the online store does not provide physical store inventory information”. 

Omnichannel, Cross-Channel, and a Customer Experience Experience are critical to today’s brands, whether it’s a new brand or a legacy brand such as Payless in this most recent shift. 

Jaylen D. Bledsoe

Jaylen D. Bledsoe is the Chairman of The Bledsoe Collective, an innovative + diversified media & communications parent company & Managing Director of Flare Partners.

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