The Best Opportunities Lie In Danger
Our digital cloud revolution grinds against entrenched old school business lessons. Today, scalability forecasts, combined with well-intended bulwark-risk-avoidance tactics, offer no hope or opportunity for sustainable growth without aggressive asset investments. Digitization has disrupted slow footed, sluggish market contenders. There’s a new school in town, teaching smart risk, not risk avoidance to make or take a market.
Of course, the very best opportunities lie in danger. If they did not all manufacturers and retailers would lean-forward, step through the door of reasonable doubt and heavily invest in highly scalable traffic drivers. Our in-the-moment, herculean-digital-revolution is prime time for retail aggression, not for safe solicitous risk suppression. It is not time to be risk adverse, rather it is prime time to be risk centric, to be rich in digital and physical investments in order to growth-scale profitable consumer traffic.
For retailers, traffic scalability continues to be the purest, most effective same store sales fast-forward-lever. Physical store traffic, store revenue and store profits are all commercially enveloped around the ability to scale the retail business to the population-sizing-value of the local community. Of course, across our mammoth global clouds, e-scale is referred to as “endless aisles, endless global prospects.” As well, e-traffic-scale defines and demands an understanding of who, what, where and how profitable potential retail customers are, through savvy collection, keen profiling and micro-cast data mining. In essence, retailing, social publishing, CRM, SCRM and big data constitute a united commonality: the importance for profit-fluidity, highly elastic, highly reactive traffic and product distribution to ensure the fastest return on capital investment.
Of course, we well understand not to confuse fluid traffic with fluid buying. As well, we never confuse big data with big buying. Never confuse weak store or in-aisle traffic for weak product category demand. Traffic conversion is the heart and profit-soul of every push and pull business: in the physical, in the cloud. Yet kinetic consumer connectivity, consumer publishing and social engagements command the grease or the rust that makes or breaks an opportunity for profitable in-store or in-cloud retail traffic scalability.
Savvy, forward-thinking retailers do not compromise strategy based upon physical or cloud based tools, human capital or content attributes. They indeed motivate and capitalize their retail brand based upon serving consumers better. Better can be defined of course with respect to omni-channel services, support, product assortment, pricing, knowledge, personal care: a unique, well defined and highly competitive selling proposition that creates demand (think Apple, Amazon, Samsung, Monster, Google, Sony, Best Buy, Walmart, Target and Costco). Digitization should not be considered as a solitary art form to demand traffic scalability. Rather scalable digital weaponry needs to be, must be also invigorated into local physical retail stores to gain competitive market momentum, to best sell your local and global reason to be, your reason to better serve within your 3 to 5 mile community radius.
Prevaricators daft in their ability to equally muscle up physical and cloud retailing, tend to ignore the positive or negative thrust-power of socially charged consumer viewpoints. To ignore rapid and rampant digitalization, the kind which lowers the cost of new brand and product entry, ignores the equalizing power of physical retail scalability. Ignoring fast competitive boundary blurs between old and new retail brand participants whether in the physical or in the cloud retail store. What appears rogue, aggressive, radical or “out of the box” retail digitization-scalability today eventually appears to be normal profitable-evidence in colleges and universities regarding retail practices or retail losses a decade ago.
As consumers in the digital moment know reams more about brands, products and their valued cousin “pricing” than retail human capital it is digital tools, digital windows in the moment that exercise empowered retail value at the last three feet of the sale. In profitable reality, no physical store associate should be left untethered to cloud data. They must be trained for hyper-fast access to product knowledge and comparable data to ensure the sale will be won at the last three feet of opportunity within the store aisle. What works in the digital cloud will work in the physical store, if digitally invested and armed locally.
For example, cloud stores recognize me, recognize my buying patterns, recognize how much I spent to date, recognize and capitalize on my present and future value: so should physical stores. Seems it should be easier to recognize a consumer who lives two miles from a retailer than to recognize a consumer who lives 3,000 miles away. Time to muscle up local store retailing to ensure traffic scalability smartly delivered through local digitalization.
Gen One Ventures offers 4 questions for consideration towards architecting profitable and sustainable retail traffic, ensuring smart scale-to-growth opportunities based upon consumer proximity:
1. Share the construct: your big-digitized-SCRM-data collection enhanced through consumer voices and reactions creates smart, relevant, in-physical-store opportunities for your unique retail value proposition. Data collected in the cloud offers the smartest competitive weapons for your physical retail stores. Is your big data architected to motivate prospecting within communities located close to your physical stores?
2. Algorithms deliver profitable scale: digital data is the weapon of choice for physical stores as much as for the “masters of cloud retailing.” We need to train, develop, inspect and expect greater traffic, scalability and up-sell profitability by delivering the dignity of digital knowledge, the power of crunching local data to all store employees. As example, think of each store as a hub and all consumers within a 5 mile radius of the store as nodes. Digitization allows for local connections just as well as global connections. Are each of your stores locally connected to your big data prospects down the street?
3. Listen, learn, prosper: Your retail merchants/buyers must have measured and direct access to your in-store-local-consumers, must muscle up and mature their product buying decisions based upon preposition and choice feedback from local city buying geo-demographics. Does your CMO connect your store merchants to consumers who live within a 3 mile radius of each of your physical stores? Is there active local engagement and boomerang feedback designed to help support brand line logic and line assortments at the last three feet of the local store?
4. Not just R&D, rather R-C&D: Think about it. Physical retailers have tens of thousands of consumers within a 3 mile radius. Each of these consumers decide post to a manufacturers expensive Research and Development process whether to buy or shy away from their new shiny products. Include your retail consumers into manufacturers product planning titled “Research-Consumer & Development” to orchestrate faster selling, vastly wanted products. Does your retail brand partner-research with manufacturers through the loud and quiet voices of local city consumers to ensure profitable throughput profitability?
Peter Weedfald is president of Gen One Ventures, a leader in ensuring company strategy becomes company reality.