The South African market is going to be in a competitive space as larger players and international retailers and service providers continue to penetrate the market and seek to absorb sectors currently dominated by SMEs. How can the average business ensure sustainable growth in 2014? One word: Online. Everything, and I mean everything, is moving online. Plumbers see the need to promote themselves online and so do seedling growers, vehicle manufacturers and paper mills. Accounts, orders, communication, storage and recruiting are more efficient online and the list goes on and on.
Every year, a percentage of the established markets of both offline advertising and traditional retail are siphoned off by the internet. This is what is growing global e-Commerce at over 20% per annum. While the e-market is growing organically, it?s mainly hijacking existing offline revenues. Despite this, it might seem ?safer? to adopt a ?wait and see? approach to investments, but it is clear that those pursuing disruptive innovation through leveraging customer relations and efficiencies online are reaping the results. (Just check out some of the market share and brand equity FNB acquired by being a first mover in innovative online consumer engagement.)
Example of Massive Online Clearance
Example of Massive Online Clearance
2013 is the year to prepare one?s online partners (retail, strategy and media) and draft a serious online investment strategy. I?m not talking about putting up GoogleAds, but seriously considering ways to undercut the competition and offer more value to your clients in 2014 through online efficiencies, portals, information and retail channels. If you?re not, someone else will be.
With this scenario, Business specialist describes some current trends that Gartner believes will immediately impact retailing:
1. Retail is everywhere. It’s not just the store, the website or the mobile. Technology is enabling interaction between retailers and their consumers, virtually anywhere. Mexican food company Superama Virtual, for example, has put pop-up stores in subway stations where customers can place orders. At lunchtime the roving restaurant switches to the central mall and when the rush hour ends, it returns to the station. Already the Kate Spade store in Manhattan, uses QR codes and eBay to offer an hour of fulfillment services on orders: Buy now and we deliver to you later at the gym.
2. The purchase is personal and contextual. La Caixa, for example, is a Spanish credit card service that allows consumers to personalize their photo cards and receive information about their Facebook accounts. The Japanese toy store, FabCafe offers client body scanning and uses it to create new actions. “Because the customer experience requires personalized interactions, this makes scanning more difficult in the next interaction. Organizations that can solve this well will attract customers and gain loyalty, “he says.
3. The purchase is visual. Now you can see the product without being there. Jaguar and Land Rover are using videos for large screens and high-end sound to put the car where it is physically impossible: airports or auto shows, for example. Consumers can see the car in full size, hear the door close and the engine power up, see it from every possible angle and ask for a test drive.
4. E-commerce can become recurring. Amazon, Target and many other retailers now allow consumers to buy their products on subscription bases. “This allows the consumer to get it with minimal effort.”
5. Intentional innovation. Amazon, Staples, Apple, Wal-mart, Click-fil-A and The Home Depot are some retailers that have their own development labs. “In the future, the retailers that are market leaders will be those who adopt intentional innovation as part of their DNAs.”