Look at Instagram, email marketing, videos, Facebook, and new and emerging social media. All have given new startups and incumbent retailers a phenomenal new path to be a part of their customers lives, every day.
There are thousands of what we call “garage front” retailers. Fast Fashion and the Internet have created an easy access to startups. Through social media, they can create their own compelling story. Fast Fashion provides speed of inventory replacement and newness so, with a minimal investment and creativity, a new retailer can be in business in weeks…not months or years.
Incumbent brick and mortar retailers have an even greater advantage. They have their own village to cultivate and develop. And an audience that not only wants to be involved but expects it. The Internet has made customers knowledgeable but, more than anything else, curious. And they can immediately act on that curiosity. I was on a plane waiting for passengers to board. Next to me was a flight attendant traveling to her next assignment. She was busy on her mobile phone shopping for shoes. Customers are looking for product 24/7/365. The opportunity to be involved in your customers’, and potential customers’, shopping lives has never been better.
Your schedule is already contained in an app connected to these smart devices and it will know your wardrobe via wearable smart clothing. Imagine your home assistant letting you know that you need a new outfit for the party coming up. And your favorite store has just the right outfit for you to select. Do you want to make an appointment at the store or have it delivered? This weekend, you are going away and forgot to go to the dry cleaner to collect your clothes. You want and need a new coat because the weather forecast for your destination is going to be wet and cold. All of that information is provided and suggested to you by your home smart device. It knows your wardrobe, your schedule and your favorite places to shop. It puts you in control.
They have created a level playing field for smaller retailers. Through a retailer’s digital footprint, they can look, feel, and respond as effectively and efficiently as their larger competitors. Being relevant with great storytelling will bring more customers into a retailer’s community and, at the same time, expand their borders.
CEO and President
And Retail ORBIT®