By Tumi Frazier, founder of Tumi Frazier International
Business-to-consumer (B2C) e-commerce is disrupting the retail space in Africa and around the world. More and more retail purchases are moving online where manufacturers are now selling directly to consumers, cutting out retailers completely. So, it is time to re-consider your strategy as a small retailer because consumers themselves have matured over the years.
Consumers have become more technology-savvy, seeking convenient ways to save time in making purchasing decisions. As a result, this requires real–time insight into what they purchase, as well as a 24-7 type of service mentality.
Let’s consider some of the selling strategies used by other retailers; while these are large multinationals, there are lessons we can learn as entrepreneurs. Amazon recently announced a new service called Prime Wardrobe, which literally brings the fitting room to your home. This service allows consumers to choose three or more items from clothing and accessories to shoes in order to try the latest styles to find the perfect fit.
These items are ordered at no charge to you as a consumer; you have up to seven days to decide what you really like and only pay for those items. Furthermore, a box is provided for you with a return label where you can place the items you are returning. How awesome and customer centric is this service?
Similarly companies like Lego, IKEA and Converse have all been active in using AR (augmented reality) technology to boost their retail presence, sales and customer shopping experience. These companies supplement their physical store fronts with a variety of tech, mobile and social media projects. For instance, IKEA’s App helps customers visualize how certain pieces of furniture would fit and look in their very own homes. Customers simply launch the app on their smartphone or tablet, and use the camera function to capture an image of a room in their home. The customer can then select different items from the IKEA catalog to see how the finished, assembled piece of furniture will look in their home before purchasing.
So, it is important to step back from your day-to-day activities so as to pay attention to trends and patterns that will eventually affect your business. What is even more crucial is to have the ability to use these emerging patterns into insights that are useful to move your business forward; otherwise the end could be in sight.
Tumi Frazier is a South African entrepreneur, professional speaker, author, TV personality, consultant, and founder of Tumi Frazier International, Tumi Leadership Academy, and Tumi Foundation. Tumi is an internationally acclaimed Leadership and Change Management expert who has worked with high profile clients and organizations across Africa, United States and Europe. Tumi has authored 4 books: Courageous Stories of Inspiration; In the Midst of the Storm; Stepping Stones to Success; and Your Moment. Follow Tumi Twitter | LinkedIn
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