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Posts Tagged ‘retail’

After ten years of two digit growth, e-business showed an awesome way for innovation, and promised another smart theme for the future with mobile web. Some smiled and some cried. New pure players found gold and the philosophical stone, brick and mortar stared as if fever was on, and some other retailers tried to play with web, finding a complementary way to mix retail and online. But before this maturity in mindset, pure players set up evil, in old traditional retail business…and drove to large layoffs in the industry. Not really sexy is it?

And the least all the e-business innovation could do, was feed another story for retail, increasing traffic, targeting, consumption, accuracy in needs and shopping and so on. It seems the time has come, with so many initiatives, web or mobile, to help retail in the “new shape” of modern business.

Let’s take a snapshot of the awesome changes and opportunities that could be offered to retail, with mobile innovations. Several parts of the value chain can be shifted as:

  • the battle for information: ability to check any product, scan online and find your personal shop, with relevance, perspicacity
  • the battle for loyalty with the incredible passion for virtual wallets, saving points from consuming, winning vouchers enforcing the loyalty of customers, from an online sign up to a loyalty program. A smart way to increase consumption in retail, directly from web sessions
  • the battle for promotion and traffic, boosted with the geolocalization of both, customer and offer, enhanced the purpose debate and lead customers back to retail
  • the incredible dilemma for choice, is turned into a game with the social shopping sessions that make fun with comparing, chatting and targeting together, for a focused “buying raid” to the most relevant retailer of the place
  • the whole noise before, while and after the buying act, that makes “buying” an event in itself: dealing with fashionistas, bloggers, influencers is a full win-win combination for pure pleasure

Right now, some players cope with the whole thing with talent, relevance and friendiness. I would suggest to take a look at some of them, while they are known to drive traffic and give back to retail what the Internet has probably hijacked for a moment. Check at sites like:

  • Shopsocially, Addoway, Blippy or Buy.com
  • Pikaba, Givvy, Shopcade, Shopwithit or Buyosphere
  • myShopanion

They bring new innovation in the sale surface, allowing customers to:

  • try before buy
  • socializing between other customers and vendors
  • while walking on sale surface, ability to know best promotions, comparing and prices, close around the shop
  • sometimes consulting a screen instead of using vendor’s service: more educated, self-skilled and well informed, the social media environment allows to bring more transparency to the whole chain
  • get in touch with crafts, completing the online experience of “colors” and chatting with vendors about products, new arrivals and “fitting”: social calls social. Sales and retail are definitely a social experience, moreover than online, probably more transactional than relational in fact.
  • Share, talk and guide until the good choice (place+price+promotion+offer): the experience, experienced by others

No need to say that screen invaded us more in the house than in retail first, but then the whole chain of “screening” is played before, while and getting to retailers’ places. The long tail for learning social media empowers all the actors for this new kind of capturing attention, figures and profiles, and raising loyalty in the end.

“Revenge” could be done if retailers integrate more and up, the screens and online features, in their communication strategy to bring new services and convince (at least), own customers to shift so. But means that vendors are trained and prepared to let these new tools sometimes help, sometimes replace few parts of their jobs. Diversity functions with humans and I guess with the hybrid ability to cope with machines too, bringing on the best for all and synergy back in between retail and web.

One thing is sure is that, despite equipment, we need to think and imagine all the best experiences for customer, and do it in our times. And our times are definitely wired, connected and social. As one said, “customer may be a media” now…

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It’s been a huge move in the world (at probably different times), but it’s an endless trend : households choices about their daily shopping bag is about to change. Because no one has found yet (since Nicolas Flamel’s theories), the way to change lead to gold ; some try (professionnels fakers !), others find (end of gold mining ages…), but nobody in the bulk does. And because now, high quality doesn’t necessary mean expensive.

 lpg.jpglow-price-image.jpglow_price_istock_000003774322xsmall.jpg

It’s been long time since retail beginning, and stability arrives. But now, retail world has found some business equity model, which can give back profits to consumer. Can, but no obliged to…and that’s the problem. When the going gets tough, the tough gets going…and hard times doesn’t simplify decision after all. Retail must make choice between the short term (employment, profit warning and sometimes, investment), and give back the fruits to consumer. Then “low prices” trend entered the dance, and guided retail to economics reality of today’s consumer choices. And consumer like it ! Why ?

Because it sounds equity and justice, to be re-considered, and not to be taken for a nut, playing with money as we can find it on trees…And I guess corps who made that choice are going to live in a long trail profit age, because they are early betters on something which gives sense, in long term and trust relationship. Started by expensive things (travels, flies…), it’s been expended to simple daily goods, with so few margin. And people like it more ! because it’s no longer use, than brands can play with purchase power of households, when this power, actually falls.

Brands can’t no longer hide from reality, without recreate value and life into their own life ! Paying for something, but for what, let’s consider generic medecine, retail brand fashion, with the same garantees of quality and service.

In the other hand, the “second” one, create peer-to-peer relations between consumers, to provide and exchange lots of goods…not people, yet, thanks ;-). And quickly, corps came to this channel, afraid of being arased of retail purpose fields. As if they have nothing else to sell, than sell services ! We find now several professionnal corps on these kinds of networks…unfortunetaly, it’s a slim purpose for brands, nothing else to say…?

It’s the law of the “peer-to-peer” age, nothing owns to no one, as long as things can be improved ; and it’s a long and common history, whose force takes place in all of us, common cleverness and awareness. Don’t buy anything, buy useful. Equity and sustainable development show us the way, it’s an heavy task we have to manage with. Community conscience will save us. Don’t be avaricious of it !

Well, now, I can sell my post for a “second hand” use. Who wants ?

 

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