By Per Poulsen
I have for a long time been following the debate about the internet taking over the retail stores' turnover. I think the debate lacks focus on how much the individual actually has of unique resources. Resources that the Internet will not come close to for the next many decades.
My own eyeopening experience came when I wrote 'The Insight' in 2017. It dawned on me when I was planning the launch of the book that I just because of the book's simplicity and easy accessibility shared something that was so essential and so simple that anyone could reuse or reproduce it. That way, I would risk minimizing my own business opportunities. Fortunately, though, it was only a fleeting thought. My conclusion quickly became that it is the fewest people who actually get the full benefit of something they interact with that is not alive, does not have a soul or a personality. In other words, a human being who can understand them, put themselves in their place and help fulfill their wants and needs.
The same can be said about gyms. The vast majority of human bodies can be fully trained with the measures or tools that one can have in one's home. I'm sure much fitness equipment is purchased just in that belief. Often based on the idea that "I want to stand at home in front of my television and work out", without it in any way, has led to limitations on the success of gyms. The reason? We simply miss the experience dimension. In the same way, the boom of cinemas can be mentioned, at a time when never before have so many high-resolution large screens and surround systems been sold for the establishment of home cinemas.
I find that the 'store death' of many store owners happens inside their heads. It happens because of the very natural way we, as humans, perceive the world, (The model of the world), where we naturally seek to minimize dangers before enjoying the good things in life. The dialogue about the Internet's takeover of retail can therefore have a strong emotional impact on a store owner. It risks controlling the store owner's focus thoughts emotions and thus the signals the store owner sends to his employees, which in turn shines through to the customers.
It's too easy to just follow the common notion that digitalisation is strong and that digitalisation results in a more efficient way of life as a human being, where we can just sit at home and make all our purchases online.
I experience myself, and in my circle of friends, that a good experience is very motivating for our behavior. We drive far to be with good friends. We invest time in finding special foods that we take the time to prepare when guests arrive. We throw with nylon balls after nylon cones (bowling) for hours because it is fun. We do, in other words, many things, just because it does something good for us. I could easily continue the list.
My point is that if we emotionally feel or value that it is worth the time, then we go to great lengths to do so. Our emotional relationship with something or someone, what in NLP is called an anchor, is thus present. As human beings, we will naturally be 'triggered' by it when we think of doing something. This means that when we experience something that is emotionally pleasurable or wonderful, we will instinctively strive to repeat it. Therefore, committed store owners who are repeatedly able to create a great experience in their store have a strength that far surpasses the internet.
The store owners create such a good experience, and thus memory (an anchor) in us, that it is nice to come to the specific store. It results in thoughts and desires to revisit the store, as the thoughts create a feeling of desire, energy, positivity, friendliness in us.
My bid to help store owners is to strengthen their emotional intelligence. To help store owners recreate and develop the great experience in their store. So the store owner sends a lot of good energy out to their employees, so they recharge and thereby send the good energy on to all their customers, who then share it with their acquaintances, who also feel like visiting the store.
Emotional Intelligence is the most important competence for people who want to thrive in the rapidly changing world of the future. Emotional Intelligence is precisely the factor that the Internet cannot measure up to. No matter how many chatbots and chat forums the internet establishes that try to create an emotional connection with the ‘user’, there is still a long way to go before the ‘machine’ replaces the ‘human’.
So dear shop owners, replace your worries with positive beliefs and thoughts so that they control your energy and influences. Create the experiences that ensure that your customers will come to you at all times to have the real experience with real people who really know what it is they are working with. Create energy and positivity in yourself, on to your employees and all the way to your customers. With good energy, good mood, focus on store development and renewals, your customers still want to come to your store for the next many years.
So drop the negative beliefs and boost your own resources!