I recently co-authored a Deloitte publication into the disruption being faced by Australian retailers as a results of the significant impact that digital is having upon their businesses. ( Retail Disruption 2013 ) ‘Bricks & Mortar’ Retailers are often stuck between the need to spend money to remain connected with their changing customer base and the ever shrinking margins encountered due to not only increased competition from online but from rental and wages pressures… After all, there is only so much of any rises in costs incurred that you can pass onto consumers.
Social media is difficult (if not impossible) to control given the speed at which messages by customers regarding a retailer’s business can circulate. But creating a buzz about your business and generating positive traffic about your brand can be the cheapest form of advertising. Check out this youtube link about the growth and size of digital media if you doubt its impact now and into the future (here) Though access to Deloitte’s global thought leadership tools, its amazing to see the insights and transformations that have been made in overseas by retailers who are really disrupting their competition through both online channels and apps to increase the customer experience and offering… The situation already exists where customers can take photos of a product with their smartphone from images of goods plastered on a wall and having them paid for and then delivered to their home without ever setting food in a shop! check it out
Through these insights plus personal exposure to such corporate collapses domestically like Brown Sugar (women’s fashion retailer) Pets Paradise and Billy Baxter Cafe’s to name a few, its a great buzz to be able to share these insights and war stories with retailers willing to take on the challenge… I was lucky enough to be part of a team that set up a dedicated ‘war room’ to challenge our own way of thinking and those of our clients.
Are you one of them or what to know more? What are your thoughts on retailing in the digital age?