Blooming Amidst All The Gloom & Doom
||Apr 10, 2008
Presentation for NARTA Australia at the 2008 Retail Study Tour in Chicago (IL).
Gloomy numbers and the housing crisis are hitting big blue (Lowe’s) and big orange (Home Depot) with some considerable differences – professional service, to name just one. On the brown goods front, the news is not much better. Customers are suppressing their appetite for electronics and there’s a lot more tire kicking. Amidst all this gloom and doom, there is still plenty of opportunity to bloom. Over the past 10 years, online sales as a percentage of total retail and food sales have grown more than ten-fold, from 0.7% in 1998 to 9.4% in 2007. Lowe’s and The Home Depot made significant gains in web traffic to their home and garden sites in February 2008 offsetting their losses in store sales. Yet, Australian retailers shun online shopping and one of the main reasons is because they don’t really know how to do it right and end up disappointing e-shoppers with high shipping costs, lack of flexibility and other constraints. What is a roadmap for a successful online strategy?
And which other opportunities are out there? Roam the streets and look for the best of the best, find competitors and non-competitors, big and small, who are setting consumer expectations much higher than you've ever been able to. They're more fun, they have better design, their stuff tastes, looks, feels better, their customer service actually responds to emails, they're cheaper….Then compile what you think are now the global standards for whatever it is you do, and from there start thinking about new goods, services and experiences that at least incorporate those standards, and preferably outdo them.
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