They should be worried. As I discussed in my blog last week called The Blockbuster Effect, and countless previous blogs, you can’t expect, even at the bottom of the planet, to have the luxury of continuing doing business the same way as you have for the last couple of decades and expect the same result.
Whether it’s the retail book industry and publishing that should be quaking, or other forms of retail that no longer provide perceived value to their customers, this will hasten the change.
On TV News I watched a story about a baby store that consults with their customers, even fits baby seats into cars and they weren’t worried because they have a relationship with their customers. I agree with them.
I buy books from Amazon (why would I pay 3 times as much in a store that gives me no reason to be loyal and wait for 3 months after a book has been launched overseas). I bought my second smartwatch last week from Deal Extreme for US$18 including free delivery to New Zealand. It has a camera, Bluetooth, a speaker, large capacitive touch screen, email, phone book, auto dialling so I can ring without taking my phone out of my pocket, messaging from TXT to Whatsapp, Facebook, Twitter, a SIM Card slot and much more. Not as many features as an iWatch, or a Samsung watch but at about 7% of the price and delivered to my door for free within 2 weeks.
I was talking to a good friend the other day who took a business idea offshore and has established a solid company addressing the retail threats that he and I had discussed on countless occasions. We discussed the opportunity to bring the idea back to Australasia to help retailers and other businesses to compete by offering a quality service, recognising the loyalty of their customers and the mutual interest of retailers and foot customers to keep doing business together. I think he’s onto a winner.
As they said on the TV News story, Kiwis love to shop. The problem is that whilst many retailers pay into loyalty card systems, they don’t show loyalty to their unique customers or offer them much reason to be loyal to their brand. There are obvious exceptions such as Subway and Petrol stations are starting to get in on the act such as my Mobil Smiles card, but they are far from the rule and yet to prove they have a winning formula.
So I believe that more retailers in New Zealand and Australia who fail to change with the times are going to fall by the wayside. I also don’t believe they have to, but they do have to do something different. BAU will not cut it. Complaining will not cut it. Those who don’t find the time or the business partners to provide solutions such as Marketing as a Service (MaaS), will be down the tubes.
We will remember them. We will miss them. But don’t worry, others will take their place. The smart ones. The ones that finally listened. Which one are you?