It’s February already. The holiday hangover and mad rush for returns has settled down. It’s time to refocus on a great spring selling season and make sure everyone's ready for another dash to successful holiday sales. Take a moment to see what’s going on around you and think about how it will impact your business this year.
One thing is for certain, mobile isn’t going away. Not only do sellers need to make sure their site is mobile-ready, but also that they’re finding ways to stand out in a crowd of fragmented content. With so much information flying at consumers, businesses need to doing something unique in order to continually grow.
Amazon, Amazon, Amazon! Depending on how you look at it, Amazon may be gaining on the world’s largest retailer faster than you think. By peeling back the onion, it’s interesting to see just how much money is really flowing through Amazon’s platform and how close they are to surpassing Walmart in non-grocery merchandise.
How do you get people to buy more online? Open a brick-and-mortar store. It sounds a bit odd, but it’s a new trend in retail. Many businesses that started as online only are now opening more brick-and-mortar locations. For example, Warby Parker and Birchbox have both recently opened physical locations. Amazon got into the mix in late 2015 and it looks like they’re going to expand that effort.
I can picture it now. I walk into an physical Amazon location, I buy a Kindle Fire, and as I check out at the cashier-less cash register, I’m offered a discount on a sweet new case for my Fire that can be delivered to my home the same day. Because there are great reviews for the case, the price is right, and I don’t even need to pull out my credit card, I buy it. Then, as I pull into my driveway later that afternoon, I see a drone leaving my doorstep after delivering my brand new case. It’s going to happen.
Not dissimilar to Amazon, Etsy has begun making their presence felt in the brick-and-mortar space. What is different is that Etsy is focused on creating a more unique experience rather than catering to the masses. Etsy’s banking on the fact that the shift for people to have a more unique experience will pay off, and Macy’s is hoping to appeal to a different type of consumer that’s looking for something unique or that their normal shopper will buy something incremental during their trip. Either way, it will be interesting to see how Etsy’s aversion to mass-produced products will stand up to the volume that can run through a major store like Macy’s.
Ever hear of Boxed? If not, you might want to check them out. They’re working hard to get into the conversation when it comes to groceries and household goods. With their recent $100M round of venture capital funding, they’re going to move more quickly to snag market share. Because online commerce is growing rapidly, there’s plenty of room for more players. The question is, will these startups with a ton of cash be able to figure out their formula before the cash runs out?