Going through the news and online updates in California, New York and some states who just opened up retail business Phase 2 e.g. Curbside Pick-up and delivery, it’s kinda interesting to note what goes on.
In smaller cities like Martinez, Ca in the old Pre-Covid days their small shops are in a street strip of cafes, boutiques, gift shops, and the like are circled around having the community walking around stopping from one store to the other while car traffic runs back and forth. Most shops who open their doors had tables in front ready to accept orders or have people pick up their orders. The small business owners who are pillars and heroes trying to start of the economy in spite of the odds knowing they won’t even sell enough to pay for the overhead cost of the day. Worst case scenario some stores had no orders, traffic or visitors at all.
What this shows is that consumers are somehow spiritually divided. As a community, everyone wants to support their local city shops, wants them to stay in the business yet on the other side, people are afraid to really be outside that long thinking of this contagious disease called, Corona virus doesn’t have a vaccine yet. This is the mere reality except it’s been observed that some states or cities that did not really have a high incidence rate of infection in the past 2 months who may even be already on Phase 3 opening might have a different scenario.
It is fact then and now that even though a lot of these small business shops have some form of online presence or website which somehow helped bridge their existence the past 2 months, these small businesses insist it’s still not as profitable if their brick and mortar storefront were open as in the old days. As a old time bookseller, a lot of booksellers have the sense of community having the physical store and the more these are the hardliners of the importance of having a physical store.
Twelve years ago while really selling the idea of getting our websites up instead of just being on third party book-selling sites while having our store, my own staff had resistance. I cherish their reasons, acknowledge the fact but I sort of still started in my own ways. It took all these years far more expensive, more blood torn sweats and headaches and losses until we sort of at least established a branding presence.
Today there’s a new retail concept coming up by way of having all the procrastinators on online selling to accept online businesses is the new future of small business retail. I have to say those just starting now are very, very lucky as they do not need the 12 years of trial and error. Just today, Facebook announced a new online platform created specific to this need for small businesses called Facebook shops. So what’s next is the question to the new norm of retail until we get the full confidence back.
There will be a lot of discussions, we can start of reading
In The New Rules of Retail , industry gurus Robin Lewis and Michael Dart explained how unprecedented consumer power, enabled by technology and globalization, is revolutionizing retail. They warned that survival in these dynamic times called for a business model based on three distinct competencies: preemptive, perpetual distribution; a neurological customer connection; and total control of the value chain. In the years since that book published, many of their predictions have come true. Now, they revisit timeless case studies like Ralph Lauren and Sears, as well as new additions like Trader Joe’s, Lululemon, and Warby Parker, to assess how retailers must continue to evolve in the era of e-commerce, data mining, and tiered distribution. They also identify the five current trends that are currently driving consumer demand, including technology integration and channel consolidation, as exemplified by Jeff Bezos at Amazon. This is a fully revised and updated guide from two proven retail prognosticators.
So what’s your thoughts on this new norm?