Wake Up Call
January 30, 2009
It's true. In a time where most of the retail news involves store closings, layoffs and poor sales, Amazon.com reported 9% profit increase to $225 million, on revenues that increased 18%, to $6.7 billion, in the fourth quarter. So the question emerges, if they can do it, why can't we?
Scott Silverman, Executive Director, Shop.org , posted a great blog today about this topic and what retailers have to do to get back in the game - mainly don't leave it.
"My advice is to come out and look around. Talk to other retailers. Be a student of other industries... I want you to consider unfreezing your travel budgets so you and the smart people you’ve hired can go out and find new ideas and innovations. Go to conferences and trade shows. ....going to any conference that allows you to hear new ideas and network with your peers who are facing similar challenges will give you a shot at not just surviving but maybe even giving Amazon a run for their money."
I totally agree with Scott. Ideas are kind of like fashion - rarely has something never been done or thought of before, right? (If you don't believe it, ask yourself why people are wearing skinny jeans and leg warmers again.)
So the best way to get yourself out of your box, is to look at what other companies are doing; which ones do it best and which ones do it worst. Look outside retail for inspiration; which industries are thriving and why?
And while I believe that traveling to conferences is still important, I don't believe it's the only why to connect these days. Linked In, Facebook, Industry Blogs, Twitter - all offer ways for you connect with your peers and find out what they are doing to create efficiencies in their stores while enhancing the customer experience.
"If an idea's worth having once, it's worth having twice."
Tom Stoppard (1937 - )
Dana Harder, Marketing Director, tekservePOS