If one is employed and healthy it is easy to stay somewhat removed from the recession. Sure things are a bit more expensive and it is depressing watching the news stories of wars and recession. However it is really starting to hit home now as I know quite a few people who have lost their jobs or are having to sell their car to pay mortgages etc. It is quite scary out there and I feel very fortunate to have a job. Relating to the article posted, I am a firm believer that there are always opportunities for the savvy suppliers and retailers. Bolaji's article cited 10 things and they are all valid points. Consumers now are a lot more picky about their purchases and shopping experience so to survive retailers must be cognizant of their customers' changing needs and adapt their tactics/services accordingly.
Yes, I agree with you. Although I also tend to think that if one is employed and healthy but has some friends who are not for the reason you say "hitting home", that will also afect us in one way or another.
Consumers are more picky and carefull, too, about their shopping habits. Retailers have to be careful of not losing the opportunity of a sale as a result of making a bad move or having a bad marketing strategy not according to the time and moment we are living.
This is going to be a very interesting holiday season for retailers and OEM's. By all accounts many economists and fund managers say a recession is almost inevitable. On top of those fears, consumers just aren't giving up their money as easily. They want to be well informed and make sure these are valid purchases. Retailers need to look at this trend and follow suit. Your 10 recommendations make great sense. If retailers can make sure the shoppers willing to spend money are getting their best deals, they should do okay.
"Embrace mobile retailing. In 2010, about one third of the world's population used a mobile device to access the Internet. With mobile-optimized Web sites, retailers can attract new customers and increase existing customers' loyalty."
Mobile retailing is particularly useful in emerging countries where consumers show high interest in mobile retail apps, both in their current and potential usage.
It's an excellent list, Bolaji, but I would add one more thing. That is to remember that you want to keep your relationship with your customer active after the sale, so be sure to provide excellent customer service, espeically if there was a problem with the order and follow up. That sows the seeds of customer loyalty.
That's a very impressive list. I can personally attest to the growth on on-line shopping. I do about 90% of my shopping on-line. It is so much easier, most of time there is no tax or shipping charges. It is important for retailers to offer deals equivalent to a giant like Amazon since it is easy to bargain shop on the internet.
The other reason I tend to do my shopping on-line is lack of customer service. While I agree that retailers should maintain good customer relations and support post sale, I feel that they need to step up their customer service to achieve the sale. Doing research on the internet is usually more accurate than the information you get from a sales rep. It is also hasstle free if you get a rep that doesn't feel like begin there.
I think mobile retailing will become very important. Apart from online selling, the use of mobile apps would also aid users while shopping physically in stores. For instance, there are apps out there which help the customers in locating the goods while they are shopping in super markets. Apps which read the barcode on a product and give information about the product are also becoming more common.
Buying clothes and other cosmetic things online are relatively cheap. How do you determine the quality of what you are buying? Walk in to the store gives an advantage of thorough examination of what you are investing on.
@Kunmi - There are a couple of sites that I love to buy clothes for myself. I've been purchasing products through them for several years. I know my size and I usually do not have any trouble. Also, stores have their own websites that you can purchase through. If you are familiar with the store and their products, its easy. I usually do not have any problems and if I do, I return the product just like I do with a regular store.
@eemom: Can you give me a tip of the website for the clothings; Imean the ones that you know that have quality materials at a cheaper rate. I will like to browse it perhaps I can be drafted. I know it brings convenience and safes you gas and time. I also think that you may probably have a nice deal during the holiday season.
@eemom, I suspect it might be a lot easier to buy electronics online than it is buying clothes although you seem to have nailed even that down. :) In buying electronics the specs are usually straightforward and the graphics show mainly what you will get. Also, most consumers would only buy electronics, at least new ones, from trusted name brands. It gets more complicated when you are buying it from resellers or the open market such as ebay. How have you navigated the issue of trust and certainty about what you are buying in your online clothing purchase?
@Anna - It appears that I am alone (or in a small group of people) that navigate clothing purchases on-line. There are two sites that I trust and buy most of my clothing from. I know how their clothes fit and I love their styles. I actually get frustrated when I go to a mall and I have to look through racks of clothes. I love the way I can navigate looking for things by narrowing down by size, style, etc. You can say that I am spoiled in this electronics age. Over Christmas, I ventured and purchased my daughters Ugg Boots from the internet. I did go to sites that I had not used before, so before I make any purchase, I research reviews etc, to make sure that it is a reputable site. Also for my girls, they have a couple of favored stores, so I just shop those stores on-line. Not that we never go shopping but I do about 90% of my xmas shopping on-line. You can get the same deals - and sometimes even better - that you get in the stores.
@eemon, I'm sure you're not alone in purchasing your clothings online. You'll be surprised that more people shop online than admitted.
I do use online services to compare prices before venturing out to buy from the high street stores. I think based on your assurances on trusted sites you've used, I might just try it out if you can pass on the details.
I know it's cheaper, saves time and convenient. It is just the matter of safety that discourages me from buying online.
@Anna - My favorite sites are body central (bodyc.com) and Victoria's Secret and boston Proper. I think I buy most of my clothes from them. Victoria's Secret has very nice clothes that they only offer on-line.
Yes, this is excellent price savings for everyone. But NO Tax revenue, NO state Taxes are paid. Stores going out of business, Boarders (books), Video Stores, Curcuit City, Best Buy, etc. Internet buying is graet but this is not a level playing field for stores or Tax Revenue.
Two choices are, First choice charge TAX on internet sales and get rid of all the store and jobs required to run the stores.
Second choice, stores and internet sales compete on a level playing field, both paying Taxes.
Ariella's point is well said. The customer relationship only strengthens when you ask for their opinion on how your service was - whether you delivered the right product at the right price at the right time or not. In many cases, it becomes the best PR you've got and certainly not something your competitors will take the time to do especially if they're relying on the Net for most of the transactional contact.
@Ariella, Correct. If the after-sales support is shoddy the customer will remember. I know I do. One of the things I want to be sure of is that I can return items if they don't fit or for any other sensible reason. I also want to know I can get support if needed especially for expensive products like electronics. Without this you won't clinch the sales or if you do, I may not be back the next time.
Exactly, Bolaji. There is always a bit more risk in ordering something rather than picking out the actual item physically. Those who sell online have to take that into account in their policies for returns and service.
I don't want to get too far off the electronics industry trail, but if you want to look at a model for mobile retailing...I'd say Peapod has it pretty well figured out. Now if they could just do something about the number of plastic bags they use in packing and shipping!
While holiday season is coming, there is potentially the risk that retailers promote special sales and special prices in order to leave off their inventories. People are very attracted by special offers, but sometimes they forget it is basically a commercial policy for selling lastone units of product with the aim to launch on the market new and up-to-date products once holiday season is gone. Ever happened in your opinion?
EBN Dialogue enables and encourages you to participate in live chats with notable leaders and luminaries. Not only editors and journalists, but the entire EBN community is able to comment and ask questions. Listed below are upcoming and archived chats.
Thailand Stages a Comeback Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Microsoft Surface: Potential Winners & Losers What are the implications for the electronics industry supply chain of Microsoft Corp.'s decision to launch its own tablet PC? Join industry veteran and EE Times' systems and OEM expert Rick Merritt on Tuesday, July 3, at 12:00 pm EDT for a Live Chat on this subject.
Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Peter Drucker famously said "Trying to predict the future is like trying to drive down a country road at night with no lights while looking out the back window." Yet in the razor's-edge world of electronics—with a lean supply chain and just-in-time demands—the need to know the future is vital.
While no one really can accurately predict the future, we can take guidance from another Drucker saying which is the best way to predict the future is to create it.
You've heard the saying "the No. 1 supply chain risk is your people." That hasn't always been the case. But today's complex global supply chain requires a new type of multitalented employee. It's one who understands, finance, marketing, economics, is savvy with technology, graceful with relationships and can think analytically.
Where are these people? Are universities properly preparing the next generation supply chain professionals? How do train your existing workforce for these new, demanding positions?
Brian Fuller, editor-in-chief of EBN, will lead a 60-minute Avnet Velocity panel discussion that will ask and answer these and other questions swirling around today's supply-chain talent challenges.