Cameron Wall

The Future of Retail is Now

It amazes me how many retailers in Australia simply ignore what is now possible using digital and especially Mobile to drive foot traffic and revenue. What I tend to find is that most efforts of late are focussed on building e commerce capabilities, (apparently to curb the shift in offshore purchasing), and also the continued email marketing and now with some social media thrown into the mix.

I would have thought that retailers would want to drive people into their stores rather then send them online, and email marketing is so 2002.

 

I believe that shopping is an experience and many women I know go shopping not necessarily to purchase a particular item yet for the experience, much like I would head to the local pub with my mates. I also strongly believe that if fixed Internet Web sites have made people shop in their PJ’s, then it will be the Smartphone that will drive them back to the shops.

 

Using location services such as Geofencing along with digitalMobilecoupons, Social integration and price comparison Apps the Mobile phone becomes a wand while shopping. Shop assistants will all have tablets and will check stock, sign you up to the loyalty program, push a coupon to you and even take payment even via PayPal before you can say “what’s on special”.

 

Today Google launched “Google Wallet” which offers a NFC payment solution however only in the US for now and one handset, one credit card company and a few retailers. They have however integrated this with Google Offers the group buying offering. A lot of the hype with NFC is around the payment side however the loyalty and rewards side is where it gets very interesting, now consumers armed with a Smartphone can view points, rewards, past purchases, pricing and store visit history and the list goes on.

 

Recent data shows only 35% of retailers have a documented business plan to navigate the industry's current and future challenges. The just released 'Business of Retail' report, compiled by Financial Review Business Intelligence (FRBI), shows 20% of surveyed retailers have no strategy for the future of their business. A further 45% of respondents have a business plan but have not committed it to paper, while 35% actually have a plan and have written it down.

 

A recent study of UK shoppers has found that consumers now prefer shopping via their mobile device rather than over the PC internet. And the difference is very strong: for users aged 25 to 35, mobile is preferred 3 to 1 over regular online!

It is not too late at all for retailers to reinvent themselves however the time is now to start. 

 


COMMENTS

Posted by Mark Parker, 28 May 2011

Cameron,
I disagree with your point about email marketing being so 2002. It's still an incredibly effective communication tool - when used properly.

We've found emails sent to specific segments of our customer base with targeted social content (i.e. references to blog posts or links to other social channels) drives very profitable engagement.

cheers Mark

Posted by Ann, 30 May 2011

Cameron , some valid points but I disagree with the comment "many women I know go shopping not necessarily to purchase a particular item yet for the experience, much like I would head to the local pub with my mates". SOME women prefer shopping but by no means all. Personally I hate shopping as do all my friends. Far prefer to do it online from the comfort of our own home.

Also lots of men exist who love shopping (i know at least three) so ...ahem ...'blanket statements' like this probably dont help to advance your argument / position.

However that being said I agree that retailers need to open their eyes. A retailers website is no longer just an advertising channel for the physical store it is a virtual store in its own right.

Posted by Cameron Wall, 30 May 2011

Thanks Mark & Ann...I do try and provide input that can provoke some comments so that has been good. Firstly segmentation of emails is something that many retailers have yet to master and in many cases even start to do, but I take your point on-board.

Ann, I was not referring to ALL woman yet fully agree that not all enjoy the experience, and yes many men do enjoy the experience also. I do still believe that that experience can be enhanced very well using the technology installed in the Smartphone coupled Social media.

And then there was this from last Fri. - Pacific Brands chief executive Sue Morphet told an Australian Institute of Company Directors lunch in Brisbane yesterday that Australia was about three to four years behind other countries in retailing trends, reported The Australian. - http://goo.gl/ZZ5EI


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Cameron Wall ZapMe Mobile Cameron Wall
Company: ZapMe Mobile
Position: Founder & CEO
Director of a number of Mobile marketing technology companies. He has spent over 20 years in ICT and established Australia's first Internet Cafe. And is the creator of patented mobile marketing platforms and applications.

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