If you are in retail in Australia, you are on an interesting ride. Not only are you dealing with the balance of bricks and mortar versus e-commerce. You are about to have a run in with two of the biggest retailers in the world. With their logistic fire power and perhaps more worryingly for many, their deep digital media pockets, the retail landscape is about to be changed, for ever.
And this is a very good thing, especially for small retailers. No, really. Stories of Davids standing up to these Goliaths are emerging from beyond enemy lines. Examples from Europe and North America show how faster, hyper-local and more personal service is turning the tide in favour of smaller retailers. By narrowing their focus, many retailers are finding that playing to their natural strengths is changing their businesses for the better.
Retailers are putting stock on wheels and using advanced algorithms to make sure popular items are always close enough to customers to be delivered in minutes, not hours or days.
They are finding ways that allow them access to customers cars to place purchased items in the boot while the customer is still at work. Personal relationships with customers, made better through technology is offering better service, on time and in the flow of the customers life.
With these tales, and others like it in hand, there is no reason to think that these giants will crush the Australian retailer under foot. This is an opportunity, for those who want it, to rein vigour the retail experience for both customers and retailers themselves.
To this end, the better questions to be asking in retail are: What is a winning mindset for the future? How do I use my current resources to improve my customers experience? What do customers really want from the retail experience? What am I doing to create local advocacy? What can I focus on to stand out in the new media and distribution landscape?
Yes, Amazon and Alibaba will change Australian Retail, but they will inadvertently create opportunities for those willing to take them.
Jonas & Ben