On Thursday 22nd October I put a flag up on LinkedIn to alert retail CEOs that I had a few ideas that could help them drive revenues, and if done right possibly save jobs and Christmas.
This was/is a genuine no agenda message to see if I can help light a spark of innovation and ideation from a sector that seems to want to operate as if this is still the 20th Century.
It’s from my proven ‘leverage & build’ strategy process.
Is it unique - probably not, but what really is?
Are others doing it - probably not in the UK.
Can any retailer do it - definitely.
It doesn’t require more investment in people, product, or tech
No catch, no hidden fees, and definitely no obligation to do anything else with me.
As I write this blog it's Sunday 25th October and as yet I haven't had one taker.
I get that they are all extremely busy trying to keep the retail lights on, and no doubt they will have many 'advisors' as part of the board who also have their own initiatives and want to do more of the same?.
Today I'm happy to share with you what that idea is - its called 'entertaining those stuck at home'
Note: an eCommerce site will be needed.
For the most part, e-commerce hadn’t changed in the past decade or so.
It’s an efficient way to buy something you know you want—what the industry calls mission shopping—but it’s hampered by the challenges of promoting product discovery and impulse purchases.
For every physical store there are related employees, many of whom will be socially and digitally savvy individuals in their own right, all with their own online community of friends and family.
Each store will be located in several locations but also close enough to each community.
By taking a leaf out of the chinese digital playbook retailers today should think about using local 'live streaming' events. These 'planned' events could/should include local singers, songwriters, bands and groups all performing from the store. They can also feature local street food producers, along with other local community involvement.
Think magazine, entertainment, audience involvement - not transaction!
By leveraging the expertise of the retail employees products can be demonstrated, showcased, and if they (employees) wanted to take it even further provide an online fashion/product show.
Those benefits are the point of a traditional store, which, despite its troubles and costs, is still very good at using employees, merchandising, and ambience to persuade people to buy more stuff.
Turning hundreds of employees into virtual sales consultants can require a hefty investment, but the retail landscape of tomorrow will require all this and more if it is to not only compete with eCommerce, but also be better equipped to understand the significant rise in 'social commerce'
This is 21st Century retail - its available without huge investment in legacy systems and is extremely agile whilst leveraging what you already have.
What’s happening at Neiman Marcus and other chains is part of a wider acknowledgment that the Covid-triggered boom in online shopping has made the need to stand out even greater. And one way to get there is by offering an experience that gives clients the undivided attention of a sales associate and captures some of the emotional warmth found in person.