As Online begins to seriously change the way customers shop and purchase, Amazon – known for their online onslaught now pushing $100 Billion dollars turnover (Yes Billion) are entering the Australian retail market. The aim? According to an Amazon executive – to “destroy Australia’ s retail segment”.
Their aim is opening up an “Amazon Go” physical retail store and scan customer’s phones when walking in the store, freely place items in their trolley and leave without checking out or having to deal with a check-out person. The items are immediately charged to their Amazon account. The giant e-tailer is at the stage where cold and flu tablets can be dropped off to your house within 2 hours of ordering the item. No need to leave the house, no need to fight shopping centre car parks with a runny nose. Stay in bed, get better, Amazon has you covered. Did I mention these items will be reduced by 30% ?
What does this have to do with shoes? Nothing. Everything. People are changing their purchasing habits and the way that items are purchased. It can be argued that Australians (who purchased over $500M+ P/A worth of product every year from Amazon) may also be changing their expectation level of what represents good value and service and could very well have a lower tolerance for poor service, poor product or inconvenience from off and online retailers . Rather than playing copycat on the scale some organisations like Amazon are investing in, below are simple strategies Independent retailers can implement to keep more inline with a changing customer.
Lets take a look at a 3 critical areas.
- An online e-commerce presence with a 2 day delivery window is doable, and what’s needed to not only satisfy your customers but amaze them. Amazed customers stay loyal, satisfied customers stray. We have to give our customers the opportunity to stay loyal with us when they’re online, not just in store.
- Database building and email marketing. Database utilisation and network targeted email marketing are the two largest sources of income for online juggernauts like Amazon and Facebook. For them it’s a numbers game, if you have 100,000 people on a database and your strike rate is for example 3%, that’s 3,000 people purchasing. Facebook has 2 Billion monthly users. You do the math. If you have 10 purchasing customers a day in your store that’s over 3,000 customers a year, how many email addresses do you have to talk to your customer?
- Consider widening the scope of your lay-by system. Some TV shopping stations embrace a part payment system which enables customers to pay 50% today and 2*25% payment contributions in time. If the item is say $100, people receive the goods when they pay $50, then their credit card is charged 2 and 3 weeks down the track for the other amounts.
Regardless of which avenue you chose, one thing has become incredibly clear. The Internet of Things is changing how people purchase and how they look at spending their hard earned cash. Amazing experiences will always encourage amazing loyalty.
Shoot for Amazing.
About the Author: Barry Nicolaou
Barry can be contacted here: firstname.lastname@example.org