A time of extreme change in retailing means that some trends will develop and some won’t. The difficulty in this retail revolution is finding out what will stick for future generations and what will not be part of that future. But one thing is definately going to be a key component and of course I am talking about online engagement.
Now before you say “Yeah, Yeah – I’ve heard all that before”, let me explain why I think that things have recently changed. I know there are still retailers who say the big boys are spending far too much money on this omnichannel marketing (provide the customer with a seamless shopping experience whether the customer is shopping online from a desktop or mobile device, by telephone or in a bricks and mortar store.) And the doubters point out that online retail sales still only represent 10% of total retail sales.
But we can’t tell that to the Amazon’s, Walmarts, and Macy’s of this world. Amazon are continuing their immense rollout of online retailing and of course are coming to Australia. Walmart are investing heavily in direct to consumer sales, particularly in food, and have just reported a 60% increase in online sales.
Macys have just appointed a new President who was previously a Senior Vice-President with Ebay. His appointment has been described as "arguably one of the most interesting outside additions to the entire department store space, let alone Macy's, over the past decade.''
How far are these big players reacting to consumers and how far are they setting the ground rules for future retail activity? Henry Ford and Steve Jobs famously ignored what their customers asked for and gave them something better. The big boys of retailing are quite possibly doing the same.
And for those QVM Market Traders who have not yet stepped online, maybe the email sent to every trader by the QVM Marketing Department this week about how to establish a Google Business Listing, is a good first step. Check your inbox. It is worth a read and may be "arguably one of the most important steps for traders over the past decade."
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