Tuesday 14 April 2015

Three Retail Disturbances That Traders May Want To Consider.

This is a story about 3 different innovations (I am calling them disturbances) in retailing that make it glaringly obvious we have to rethink the way we engage customers.

Firstly, you can now hire a goat herder through Amazon. That's right, if you need a goat herder, a plumber, or almost any other service you just contact your online retailer (Amazon) and it will be organised along with the products you need to do the job. Pre-shopping (browsing) and actual shopping, are increasingly being done online, and shoppers do not have to physically "go shopping" to get what they want.

Secondly, from last month you can go to a sporting event at Amsterdam Arena (it's in
Amsterdam) and order your drinks and eats from your seat, on your smartphone, and have them delivered directly to you by a runner. The point? - convenience is increasingly becoming a major ingredient in customer choices. Customers are looking for ways to get want they want, as easy as possible, so they can concentrate on the main game (excuse the pun).

Thirdly, Pebble Watches, one of the original Kickstarter crowd funding concepts, recently decided to raise an extra $500,000 to finance a new concept smartwatch. They wanted just $500,000, but small investors (crowd funding is all about individuals putting in their money upfront) contributed a staggering $20m. So, for the right product, consumers are prepared to spend up. And, as much as we value our traditional relationship with consumers, in this case, they were prepared to make a commitment, and pay-up, before the goods were even manufactured.

These three seemingly unrelated examples tell us that we have a lot to think about.
ONLINE - not everyone has to embrace online, but if you are selling in a category with a strong online following you need to factor it into your strategy. 
CONVENIENCE - consumers are shouting out loud that they want convenience. This is why we need to think about our availability to our customers, how we can make their shopping easier, and why the trading hours debate is so important.
THE PERSONAL TOUCH - yes, this is an advantage market traders have over impersonal department stores but as the Kickstarter crowd funding model shows us, there are many consumers who don't require the personal touch to open their wallets. For them, it all comes down to the offer.

QVM is a great market with a great future. We have strong community support, the backing of a committed city council, and the financing to make suitable changes. QVM believes that creating an events place is the way forward. Crowds of people coming to our market for lots of different reasons, across a wider spread of hours, is a very attractive picture for most people. The Draft Master Plan for QVM identifies an interesting framework for the future. For traders it raises many questions, and the sooner we get down to the detail and start considering the necessary changes through co-operative consultation, the better off we will all be.

Published by the Editor - 14/04/15

Have Your Say - click here.

15/04/2015 08:31:49 ed post "Very interesting article Greg, agree with all the points raised.. with regards to these...
QVM believes that creating an events place is the way forward. Crowds of people coming to our market for lots of different reasons, across a wider spread of hours. 
Unless the city council does the right thing, and stops charging exorbitant fees to park a car per hour at all hours. there is no hope.
I was across the road from the market the other week, along the park . For people to use the park, kick a ball , take their kids, take a stroll, have to pay $5.50 an hour, and this is till 8.30 at night...I call this shameful...no excuse, same as Saturday and Sunday, streets are empty around the market, yet  high fees  apply. simple greed.
Unless they change all these, we are all ""pissing in the wind"" Andy

15/04/2015 08:42:45 let me add "Last couple of years the local council has send...traffic wardens to ... see story. http://www.heraldsun.com.au/leader/east/worshippers-at-templestowe8217s-st-haralambos-greek-orthodox-church-cop-parking-fines-at-easter-midnight-mass/story-fngnvlxu-12266 I tell you this ,normally you would have to stand outside, for the amount of people....after thislast two years we could walk right in the front of the church. Hundreds of less people attending...same thing happening with the area around the market, merciless fines and fees. Andy

Thanks for your input Andy - Ed