A rally cry to the Aussie retail industry

A rally cry to the Aussie retail industry
SHARE
THIS



Watching the shoppers milling around Sydney’s George Street, spending money, sizing up potential purchases and carrying bags, something occurred to me: retail is like tennis.

Alright, on the surface of it, that might seem like a flippant (and perhaps totally barmy) thought. But before anyone calls the men in white coats on my behalf, consider this.

Tennis is a game like any other, but one difference sets it aside. The same game with the same rules has endured for years – but whether you’re playing on grass, clay or asphalt matters.

The rules of the Retail game haven’t changed…

The best practice principles of retail haven’t fundamentally changed. Things like providing personal service, being the experts in your field, demonstrating product quality and having your store in the right position to capture customer attention are just as important as ever.

Quite simply, if you get these basics right, you’ll have happy customers. And happy customers mean good word of mouth.

Easy, right? So why do so many retail businesses struggle in the digital marketplace?

That’s because just like tennis, how you play the game depends on where you play it.

Digital hasn’t changed retail best practice rules, but it has changed how you create that experience for your online customers. The court surface has changed beneath your feet.

… the playing court has

Suddenly the ball reacts differently. It bounces higher, hits the ground and changes direction seemingly on a whim and you can’t get up quite as much speed or traction across the ground as before.

That’s what digital has done for retailers. Your customers have access to a whole world wide web of information, so they can be as expert as your retail staff. It’s harder to deliver a personal experience and showcase your product’s quality to your customers online. It’s really tough to put your store in the right position to be discovered and considered by your potential customers.

And word of mouth? Social media and online reviewing has totally transformed that game – a happy customer has more influence than ever before, but so does an unhappy one.

Retail needs a new gameplan

If you’ve ever played tennis, you’ll know it is possible to be a total GOD on clay – and play like your Grandma after a few too many gins on the grass court. You know how to play, you understand the rules, you’ve mastered the tricks and frankly, you’ve gotten pretty damn good at it. But this new court has totally screwed things up for you. 

First off, you need to adapt the game you’ve already learned to your new setting – your processes need to transform to deliver your best game online. Everything needs to be reconsidered – from logistics and warehousing, pick and pack processes, to your customer relationship management and how to deliver customer service online. You need to find new, smart ways to visually present your products, provide the information that assists your customers’ decision-making and streamline the purchase process to close that sale.

Once you’ve done that, you’ve clawed yourself back to match point. But if you want to win, there’s yet more to think about. Packaging, shipping costs, your global pricing strategy, creating a positive delivery and returns experience. All these new factors shape your online game.  

The good news is there aren’t that many players in the tournament right now

Australia is a fascinating retail market. Online shopping is still gaining traction amongst consumers, familiar high street retailers have proven slow off the mark, there are still infrastructure challenges to be overcome to make delivery a more seamless and less frustrating experience.

New research from NAB indicates that at the moment, online pureplay retailers are winning the game, controlling 70% of all online retail sales. They understand how retail needs to be played on the new court, and, as a result, are serving aces against you more often than not.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. The marketplace isn’t cluttered with too much competition right now, with even big-name retailers still warming up on the sidelines. Unlike the UK or the US too, e-commerce behemoth Amazon doesn’t have a monopoly as the top seeded player.

So gather insight into how the new court is affecting your game – and develop a smart strategy that will get you winning again.

Then the tournament is yours for the taking. Game, set and match.

Bernadine Brewer is a digital strategist at Zuni. 

Please login with linkedin to comment

Latest News

Study: Aussie Brands Close The Gap Between Digital Experience & Customer Expectation
  • Marketing

Study: Aussie Brands Close The Gap Between Digital Experience & Customer Expectation

SAP Australia today launched its 2017 Australian Digital Experience Report, revealing that Australian businesses have significantly improved the digital experience they provide, closing the gap to what consumers expect. However, while performance has improved, consumers are still more likely to be unsatisfied with digital experiences than delighted by them.  The report, based on results from […]

Nuttelex Launches First Brand TVC Via Independent The Sanford Partnership
  • Campaigns

Nuttelex Launches First Brand TVC Via Independent The Sanford Partnership

Following a nation-wide qualitative and quantitative research study, independent creative agency The Sanford Partnership has produced a TVC for its client Nuttelex. The TVC has a nostalgic theme with a modern twist and highlights the brand’s healthy credentials. Nuttelex Food Products Pty Ltd started in a small factory in St Kilda in 1932. Now, the family […]

Yarra Trams & Icon Agency Introduce ‘Tram Coach’ For New Passenger Safety Campaign
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns

Yarra Trams & Icon Agency Introduce ‘Tram Coach’ For New Passenger Safety Campaign

Yarra Trams has appointed Icon Agency to deliver a new passenger safety campaign, following a competitive three-way pitch. The campaign aims to reduce the incidence of slips, trips and falls on trams via Melbourne’s latest safety ambassador, ‘Tram Coach’. Commencing today, Tram Coach will be travelling the Yarra Trams network throughout the week. His mission […]

The Red Republic Appoints New General Manager
  • Marketing

The Red Republic Appoints New General Manager

The Red Republic has strengthened its management team with the appointment of Mai Aristoteli (pictured above) as general manager. Aristoteli joins The Red Republic from Talk PR in London, where she has worked for nine years as a board director. The appointment of Aristoteli follows The Red Republic managing director Lynn Mooney’s relocation to head-up […]

PR Deadlines Inks Deal With GlobalCom PR Network
  • Marketing

PR Deadlines Inks Deal With GlobalCom PR Network

Sydney-based agency PR Deadlines has extended its global reach after inking a partnership agreement with the GlobalCom PR Network. The agreement gives PR Deadlines’ clients access to some 70 independent agencies covering all European Union states, as well as 60 more in countries worldwide. In turn, clients of affiliated agencies will have access to PR […]

Fintech Start-up InstaReM Names Aussie Cricketer Matthew Wade As Brand Ambassador
  • Marketing

Fintech Start-up InstaReM Names Aussie Cricketer Matthew Wade As Brand Ambassador

InstaReM, which offers international money transfers to individuals and businesses, has signed on Australian wicketkeeper Matthew Wade as the sports face of the brand. InstaReM lists Australia as its founding market, having begun life here in 2014. Since the company’s modest start in Australia, InstaReM has since successfully spread its wings to other corridors by […]

Australia Is Diverse… Does Your Brand Have An Inclusive Digital Presence?
  • Marketing
  • Opinion

Australia Is Diverse… Does Your Brand Have An Inclusive Digital Presence?

As Australia continues to grow and the population becomes more ethnically diverse, it is important that marketers ensure digital environments are more inclusive, especially for those who don’t speak English as a first language, writes Siteimprove’s Haley Doel (pictured below). Having a readable and accessible website is no longer just a high priority for large […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Pepsi MAX Teams Up With PHD & Time Out For New Data-driven Campaign
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns

Pepsi MAX Teams Up With PHD & Time Out For New Data-driven Campaign

Pepsi MAX has partnered with PHD and Time Out to not only inspire Australians, but also enhance their ability to ‘MAX’ out their summer this year. Through the use of a live dynamic data feed, consumers will be served ads by the brand on events taking place around them that are relevant to their personal […]

AI – To Join It Or To Beat It
  • Media
  • Opinion

AI – To Join It Or To Beat It

I'm afraid we can't let you read this piece Dave! That's a joke about A Space Odyssey 2001, young B&T readers.

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
AnalogFolk Opens In Shanghai
  • Advertising

AnalogFolk Opens In Shanghai

AnalogFolk has opened in Shanghai and, as B&T's trusty Funk & Wagnalls atlas tell us, is somewhere near Wollongong.