Showing posts with label opportunities. Show all posts
Showing posts with label opportunities. Show all posts

Thursday 7 November 2013

See it, snap it, buy it: the new way to shop online...

"We shop with our eyes, so why not search with a photo?" asks Jenny Griffiths, founder and CEO of Snap Fashion, the fashion search engine that uses pictures instead of words.

Her idea was born out of her frustration at trying and failing to find affordable equivalents to the designer clothes she found in fashion magazines. When regular search engines failed to quench her affordable fashion thirst - there are after all only so many ways you can describe an item of clothing to Google - the 26-year-old realised that her quest would be markedly easier if she could just submit a photo of the item she was searching for.

Snap Fashion obviously meets a shopper-need, but savvy NAMs will appreciate that there is a much bigger idea lurking here…

In other words, this is all about pattern and shape recognition. So anytime you see an ornament, poster, piece of furniture, hairstyle, gadget, or even a foreign-language version pack of a ‘well-known’ brand and ‘you don’t like to ask’, a simple pic will help you to find an affordable source..

In fact, all it would take is for a company called Amazon to adapt the software to their site to flesh out the real potential….

Tuesday 19 June 2012

Underestimating a 26% CAGR customer in a flatline zero-sum world…

With a vision ‘to be the earth’s most customer-centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they want to buy online’, the problem in many categories is that Amazon’s vision is becoming reality, fast.

Walmart-like origins
Essentially, having started trading in 1994, Amazon has grown fast, and in relatively low profile to its current global scale of US$48bn, growing over the four years of the global financial crisis at a CAGR of 26%, producing a net margin of 2.2% and an ROCE of 9.06% in fiscal 2011. In other words, serious customer-centric retailing, from a standing start, rather like Walmart - only faster - with an EDLP platform that seems to retain its excitement for consumers, everywhere.

Customer-level assortment
Amazon is raising not only the online commerce bar, with all of its potential efficiencies, but is also going to the heart of state-of-the-art retailing, providing much more than store level assortment. It is, in effect, tailoring the offering to individual consumer level, better than any other provider.

Convincing colleagues, fast
Our free analysis of Amazon’s business model aims at helping you build an in-house case to raise its profile within the business. We have also added a key-point treatment of the wealth of insight available within Amazon’s 2011 Annual report to help you explore the implications for your categories.

Finally, if still in any doubt about Amazon’s impact on your business, think 50% of most categories in the next 5 years, and see if that provides an appropriate wakeup call…

Tuesday 10 April 2012

Unprecedented Treats for Unprecedented Times?

A $200,000 bottle of whisky made to mark the 60th year on the throne of Queen Elizabeth II is on sale in Singapore for a mere S$250,000 ($198,500) a bottle - and it may well find a buyer, (for a buyer?).
No doubt it's a premium sip. Only 60 bottles of Diamond Jubilee were made by the Johnnie Walker unit of Diageo PLC from a blend of whiskies distilled in 1952.
It's also a premium price for Asian aficionados at the month-long Master of Spirits II event featuring specialty wine and liquor put on by luxury travel retailer DFS Group, part of the LVMH empire of high-end goods and services.
Discerning palates, and expats' excessive longing for the old country apart, this differential vs. a spirits’ bogof at Tesco has to be a reflection of the gap  building up in societies everywhere… the issue is whether this gap will continue to increase to breaking point, or whether new governments will take steps to keep the lid on via attempts to return to normal supply and demand in markets everywhere… Either way, time for suppliers to reassess trade strategies and avail of opportunities, ahead of  competitors locked in old patterns…
Incidentally, should any potential expat buyers like to take a first class trip back to the UK and pick it up locally, the same package - the vintage whisky in a crystal decanter with silver trimmings, two crystal glasses and a leather-bound booklet - is priced at 100,000 pounds ($159,100) in Britain.

Wednesday 21 March 2012

The Battle Against Obsolescence in the High Street

The high street is successfully fighting for its life on many fronts, but in some categories it is a lost cause, and scarce resources should be focused on realistic revival prospects.
For instance, given the inevitable drift of business to new delivery systems like downloading, in categories such as DVD sale and rental, along with retailing of CDs, books and even games, it is important to distinguish denial from planned demise in a product or category lifecycle.  Anyone in doubt need only think of the declining fortunes/demise of Blockbuster, HMV, Borders and GameStop for some high-profile examples of the trend.
The inevitability of the life-cycle 
Essentially, it is important to accept that all brands go through a natural lifecycle from innovation to growth, maturity and decline in response to market demand.  Whilst the latter stages can be delayed, the process of prolonging active life usually becomes increasingly expensive and produces diminishing returns.  However, in some circumstances, the life of a brand can be prolonged profitably by constant innovation and ‘reinvention’ in the absence of serious threat from substitution.
Retail format life-cycle...
However, if we accept that a home entertainment retail format offering video-rental and sale, like a brand, has a life cycle, we need to acknowledge that the format passes through stages such as innovation, growth, maturity and decline, as night follows day…  Here the download alternative provides convenience, choice and ‘instant’ gratification in a way that is impossible for traditional outlets.  As the download providers take increasing shares of these categories, in time their low cost-base will allow them to complete the process via price-cutting the traditional outlets out of existence.  In these circumstances it is important for traditional home entertainment retailers not to deny the inevitable, but rather to proactively manage the maturity and decline of their format.
Meanwhile, at the receiving end... 
For store-owners, the ultimate question of how long the mature and decline phases will last has to be replaced by one reflecting the owner’s lifestyle expectation in terms of return on investment, coupled with their risk-profile (risk-averse, risk-neutral or risk-seeking).  This will help the owner to determine a satisfactory risk-reward relationship that will help them to decide whether to persevere for five or ten years, or seek a radical reinvention of the home entertainment format.   As entrepreneurs at heart, store-owners will be accustomed to making business decisions that offer a realistic balance of risk and reward in a market undergoing constant change.
Obsolescence is but another variable in the game….in which suppliers have a strategic role

Monday 12 March 2012

Innovation in retail multichannel management, an opportunity via the new Post Office?

In retail, increasingly innovation will be linked to the development of multichannel retailing, particularly as sales migrate to new channels, the role of multichannel director is emerging as the most likely route to becoming chief executive of a major retailer. 
Suppliers need to mirror the role-moves.
Need for innovation focus
Korn/Ferry Whitehead Mann have found that, despite profound change in the retailing sector, many were prioritising existing goods and services, rather than reinventing themselves with breakthrough ideas. 
This week’s guest-Kamblogger, Gary Coyle, a thought leader in the Postal sector, updates NAMs on upcoming consumer-access opportunities via the Post Office network.
Post Office rebirth
The UK Post Office network is in decline – 5,000 Post Offices have closed over the last 6 years with 8 million fewer weekly customer visits.  The Government have promised funding of £1.34bn over the next four years to help modernise and re-energise the retail network.
In fact, as the largest retail network in the UK, the Post Office now needs to innovate, take some calculated risks and be radical in its approach to adopting a new business model in order to optimise ever challenging consumer demands.
See Gary’s free white paper: Post Offices – Time for a Digital Reinvention as a Unique Route to Consumer? 

Monday 5 March 2012

A Scandinavian Scotland – simply an export-opp for other major mults?

                                                                                                               map: The Copenhagen Post
To be or not to be Scandinavian, that might be the question soon enough for Scotland, if it decides to become independent. In which case, JS, Asda, Morrisons and the Co-op would join Tesco in having to factor in a balance of UK and overseas presence into their business strategies.

What they have in common
Scotland and its northern neighbours have geographic proximity, shared access to the same body of water, and the resultant multitude of historical links between Scotland on the one side, and Iceland, Norway and Denmark on the other. (More on social,political & religious similarities)

Advantages for Scotland

One final, crucial advantage of a Scandinavian over a British Scotland: it would no longer be in the Far North of the UK, but in the Southwest of the Scandinavia. The place would not have to move an inch, not even a centimetre, but it would sound less cold, dark and at the end of everything. Scotland’s new orientation could finally allow it to ditch some of the negative stereotypes that have been dogging it for far too long. It would no longer be colder, emptier and darker than England.
Key learnings for UK mults
Indeed, this new perspective might then begin to influence the multiples’ approach to the UK consumer-shopper. Think of all the ethnic food and non-food enjoying a new appeal down south… The multiples’ management would surely benefit from a foreign tour of duty, with no disruption of the family, competing with Tesco from a totally new geographical perspective. Management would no longer have to fight for recognition of local need in UK policy, and store-based assortment would surely become a natural output of the new thinking…
Supplier benefits
Meanwhile, UK NAMs, apart from adding ‘foreign’ experience to their CVs, would surely benefit from having to conduct periodic store visits to deal with their newly vocal ‘scandinavian’ customers, until eventually their companies see the wisdom of appointing a dedicated team to operate at local level…

Monday 20 April 2009

Arrival of another Nokia moment?

Nokia, a manufacturer of rubber wellington boots, looked for a category that was such an early stage of development that every supplier was a beginner and began to make mobile phones i.e. Long established telecoms suppliers had no real advantage over new entrants.

It seems to me that we have now arrived at another 'Nokia moment' - a time when everything is changed, changed utterly, a time when the rules of the business game have so changed that all suppliers are at square one, demand is new, money has a new value, the consumer is more discerning, competitive set is different......

Opportunities abound for suppliers who treat this as a new market, re-identify consumer need, re-assess offering vs. available competition, re-evaluate routes to consumer, and especially trade partnerships i.e. time to re-evaluate product portfolio, customer portfolio and market match both brands and customers vs. latest consumer need.....