Ron Johnson apple store

本文作者為J.C. Penney新任CEO,同時也是前任Apple零售資深副總裁,並負責建立起Apple Store直營店體系的Ron Johnson。原文刊載於Harvard Business Review

What I Learned Building the Apple Store

When I announced that I was leaving Apple to take the reins as CEO of J.C. Penney this month, the business press (and lots of others) began speculating about whether I could replicate the Apple Store’s success in such a dramatically different retail setting. One of the most common comments I heard was that the Apple Store succeeded because it carried Apple products and catered to the brand’s famously passionate customers. Well, yes, Apple products do pull people into stores. But you don’t need to stock iPads to create an irresistible retail environment. You have to create a store that’s more than a store to people.

當我宣布將離開Apple,並在這個月接下JC Penny的職位時,商業媒體(以及其他許多人)開始猜測我是否能夠在這如此不同的零售環境中,複製Apple Store的成功。我最常聽到的評論之一是,Apple Store的成功,是因為Apple本身的產品,以及品牌本身的熱情支持者。

嗯,是的,Apple的產品的確可以將人們吸引到店裡。但是你不需要用堆積如山的iPad來創造出一個無法抗拒的零售環境。你必須為人們創造出一間不單只是一間店面的商店。

Ron Johnson and Rafael Vinoly

Think about this: Any store has to provide products people want to buy. That’s a given. But if Apple products were the key to the Stores’ success, how do you explain the fact that people flock to the stores to buy Apple products at full price when Wal-Mart, Best-Buy, and Target carry most of them, often discounted in various ways, and Amazon carries them all — and doesn’t charge sales tax!

試著想想:任何商店都必須提提供人們想買的商品。這是一定的,不過如果Apple的產品是Apple Store成功的關鍵,那該如何解釋當Wal-Mart、Best-Buy與Target販售大部分的Apple產品並經常性地以各種方式打折,以及Amazon有著Apple全部產品而且不收稅的時候,人們仍然湧向Apple Store,並且以定價購買呢?

Ron johnson apple store

People come to the Apple Store for the experience — and they’re willing to pay a premium for that. There are lots of components to that experience, but maybe the most important — and this is something that can translate to any retailer — is that the staff isn’t focused on selling stuff, it’s focused on building relationships and trying to make people’s lives better. That may sound hokey, but it’s true. The staff is exceptionally well trained, and they’re not on commission, so it makes no difference to them if they sell you an expensive new computer or help you make your old one run better so you’re happy with it. Their job is to figure out what you need and help you get it, even if it’s a product Apple doesn’t carry. Compare that with other retailers where the emphasis is on cross-selling and upselling and, basically, encouraging customers to buy more, even if they don’t want or need it. That doesn’t enrich their lives, and it doesn’t deepen the retailer’s relationship with them. It just makes their wallets lighter.

人們到Apple Store是為了體驗──為此它們願意付多一點錢。有很多與體驗相關的部份,但是最重要的部分,並且是可以移用到任何零售商的部份是──員工並不是聚焦在販售商品,而是專注在與顧客建立關係,並且試著讓人們的生活更好。

這聽起來有點做作,但是真的就是這樣。員工經過良好訓練,他們沒有佣金,所以對他們來說,賣掉一台昂貴的新電腦,與讓一台舊電腦運作的更好同時使得顧客高興,這兩者並沒有差別。他們的工作是搞清楚你需要什麼,並且幫助你得到它,即使那是Apple沒有的產品。

與其他零售業相比,他們員工的重點在交叉銷售以及提昇銷售量。基本上,就是鼓勵客戶購買更多的商品,即使顧客並不想要、或是需要這些東西。這並不能讓顧客們的生活更豐富,也不會加深與零售商之間的關係。這只會讓顧客們的荷包變得更輕而已。

So the challenge for retailers isn’t “how do we mimic the Apple Store” or any other store that seems like a good model. It’s a very different problem, one that’s conceptually similar to what Steve Jobs faced with the iPhone. He didn’t ask, “How do we build a phone that can achieve a two percent market share?” He asked, “How do we reinvent the telephone?” In the same way, retailers shouldn’t be asking, “How do we create a store that’s going to do $15 million a year?” They should be asking, “How do we reinvent the store to enrich our customers’ lives?”

所以,對於零售業的挑戰並不是「如何模仿Apple Store」或是任何其他看似有著良好運作模式的商店。這是一個非常不一樣的問題,這個問題的概念有點像是Steve Jobs在面對iPhone時一樣。他並不是說「我們要怎樣打造一支手機,可以讓我們吃下2%的市佔率?」,而是「我們該如何重新發明電話?」。

同樣地,零售商不應該問「我們如何創造一間年營收1,500萬美金的商店?」,而是「我們該如何重新發明商店,讓顧客的生活更加豐富?」。

Ron Johnson apple store genius bar

It’s not easy, of course. People forget that the Apple Store encountered some bumps along the way. No one came to the Genius Bar during the first years. We even had Evian water in refrigerators for customers to try to get them to sit down and spend time at the bar. But we stuck with it because we knew that face-to-face support was the very best way to help customers. Three years after the Genius Bar launched, it was so popular we had to set up a reservation system.

當然,這並不容易。人們已經忘記了Apple Store一路走來碰到的障礙。在第一年裡,沒有人會到Genius Bar。我們甚至準備了冰箱放著Evian礦泉水,試著讓顧客坐下來,並花些時間在Genius Bar。不過我們堅持了下來,因為我們知道,面對面的技術支援就是幫助顧客的最佳方式。

在Genius Bar推出後三年,這項服務已經變得非常受歡迎,讓我們不得不建立預約系統。

There isn’t one solution. Each retailer will need to find its own unique formula. But I can say with confidence that the retailers that win the future are the ones that start from scratch and figure out how to create fundamentally new types of value for customers.

唯一的解決方案並不存在,每個零售商都將需要找到屬於自己的獨特方式。但是我可以非常有信心地說,贏得勝利的零售商,必定是那個不斷尋找,並發現如何創建新型態的價值來獻給顧客的人。

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via What I Learned Building the Apple Store – Ron Johnson – Harvard Business Review and photo from Ron Johnson Pictures – Apple Opens New Store In Chicago’s Lincoln Park Neighborhood – Zimbio