The New Rules of Retail For Now

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

The New Rules of Retail: Competing in the World’s Toughest Marketplace

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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?

 

Google “Rigged”@Trump, let’s read Silicon States

51hP-wNbcqL._SX327_BO1,204,203,200_Google search results for ‘Trump News’ shows only the viewing/reporting of Fake News Media,” @realdonaldtrump. Google responds with a the shebang of algorithms and search results rankings and not political endeavors.

This was perfect timing on the new release book, Silicon States: The Power and Politics of Big Tech.  This new release book talks about  on “While the promise of technology is seductive, it is important to understand these corporations’ possible impacts on our political and socioeconomic institutions. Greene emphasizes that before we hand our future over to a rarefied group of companies, we should examine the world they might build and confront its benefits, prejudices, and inherent flaws. Silicon States pushes us to ask if, ultimately, this is the future we really want”.

As Silicon Valley faces increased scrutiny over its mistreatment of women, cultural shortcomings, and its role in widespread Russian election interference, we are learning where its interests truly lie, and about the great power these companies wield over an unsuspecting citizenry. Then came another bombshell intrigue today from President Trump. Trump appeared to be referencing a story published in recent days by conservative outlet PJ Media, which claimed that Google was “deprioritizing” content from conservative websites. The story was picked up by other conservative outlets including Breitbart.

All while Twitter, Facebook and Google executives are soon to appear on the Congress of the United States about election interference and censorship.

Back to the business of book selling, indeed for years search results was very much influence by content and users searching. However, agreeably it became a business on CPC and clicks for conversions. And wallah, if you are are small independent bookstore in  town which is usually known by the locals, guess what unless you search yourself with a specific name or locality and simply make a general bookstore search, do you think you will ever see your store? Of course, “NO” Pay to be on top of the first page and top of that page and then yes you will be able to search yourself.

Even making simple google searches on buy books, best online bookstores, it’s the same pages for years and years with the same companies and results on the first page will forever be the same as if they never get updated. The big answer is “$” as the biggest spenders to pay who also gets the monopoly of the clicks and traffic.  Thank God in the recent earlier years for the evolution of social media as another advertising way to promote. Then the same $ started with social media and hence today with have such issues as censorship and election interference.

We’ll end this short discussion considering is it really time to “Regulate” so there is some control instead of the business of money talks?