The Killer App
The internet is the killer app. It’s killed off many businesses late to the e-party. It’s killed off the need for developing new software applications for old PC architectures. It's killed off legacy styles of selling and marketing, killed off old, tired and ineffective advertising push tactics. This tri-modal home, business and mobile internet maelstrom of global might is also killing off retail store locations in groves, in our local backyards, across the nation, in hyper-fast tumbling succession.
And yes of course, the Internet is also a colossal revenue, profit and market-growth catalyst. A tectonic creator of mammoth global opportunity in congress with consumer demand to socialize, to gain fast dignity of knowledge, to entertain ourselves, to search and find, to correspond, to unite in social communities, to move quickly, to buy often and assiduously. The Internet inexpensively empowers and rewards businesses and consumers alike with hyper-speed, vast choice, global connections and ever-evolving fresh apps that organize and energize hearts, minds and pocketbooks. Service, support, speed, pricing, juxtaposed product descriptions and socially trusted product reviews all describe business and consumer benefits in the sunny clouds of internet opportunity.
This polarizing global killer and creator app is rapidly changing everything for retailers and consumers. The January 2014 physical retail basket and traffic frequency report from Nielsen revealed store trip frequency declining 15 percent over the past six years. And according to ShopperTrak, retailers had only half the holiday in-store traffic in 2013 than they did in 2011. The third party research company reported store traffic declines of approximately 28 percent for 2011, 16 percent for 2012 and 15 percent for 2013 while online sales rose by more than double that of brick and mortar sales during our past 2013 holiday season.
The hard costs to open, run and sell on the floors of physical retail stores can only be justified if brisk, highly actionable store traffic is sustainable and profitable. Baby boomers are aging rapidly and dramatically lessening their physical shopping trips. Millennials are hungry to purchase through the Internet to avoid roadway traffic, ensure their best deals, gain personal time and speed up their business lives. By any government or third party measurement, within any market category, Internet buying and traffic patterns continue to run double digit positive, year over year, while same store retail sales and traffic is recessing, and declining in many cases by double digits.