A review of E-Retail and the changes the digital universe are making to our life, industry, retail possibilities. A world where the barriers to buying, selling and creating products online are gone for everyone. Read the story of - How It All Began, The World is Flat, Is the Big Box Really Dead, The Entrepreneurial Revival, Customers Wear the Crown, The Global Consumer, anA review of E-Retail and the changes the digital universe are making to our life, industry, retail possibilities. A world where the barriers to buying, selling and creating products online are gone for everyone. Read the story of - How It All Began, The World is Flat, Is the Big Box Really Dead, The Entrepreneurial Revival, Customers Wear the Crown, The Global Consumer, and much more.GREG THAIN Greg is a director and investor in various e-retail and marketing businesses. He's also an Adjunct Professor of E-Commerce, E-Retail Marketing at the International University of Monaco (IUM). Greg regularly speaks at conferences around the world, specializing on retail in emerging markets. Greg has also written FMCG: A Complete Guide To The History Of The World's Leading Consumer Companies, and Storewars: The Battle For Mindspace and Shelfspace, which is considered as a must read for every retailer. Greg splits his time between Monaco and Moscow with his wife and has 5 children.Alexandra SkeyAlexandra is obsessed with customer experiences. She's the Founder and CEO of Rallyon, a neuroscience company that unlocks human potential through technology, and the cofounder of Spokal, an award winning marketing automation platform. Alexandra also loves horses, tea and kiteboarding. She lives on the west coast of North America, sharing her time between Victoria and San Francisco.Keywords: E-Retail, Retail, E-commerce...
|Title||:||E-Retail Zero Friction In A Digital Universe|
|Number of Pages||:||330 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
E-Retail Zero Friction In A Digital Universe Reviews
The world of retail is changing and ignoring it is no longer an option. Just like when dinosaurs roamed, it is possible for smaller beings to survive - you just have to avoid being squashed by the bigger beasts. Adapting, embracing a changing situation, being agile and having a real purpose are key attributes in this developing e-retail world.This book is more than just a theoretical look at the changing face of retail. It considers how society is changing thanks to the Internet; the world might be getting smaller but we are facing increasing challenges as well as possibilities. If you are in business it can be great that you now have the world as your potential customer base, until you remember that you can have the world as your competitor too! If you are an intermediary or reseller you might be feeling squeezed, especially if you are not adding real value to the chain.So the authors have managed to provide a good generalist’s guide, without being boring to the specialist or interested industry participant. It is a thoughtful overview and summary that allows you to expand your thinking and research as required. Some of the opinions may appear over-simplified, such as the reasons why some online retail is successful today, compared with something a decade or further ago, yet it does not make it any less desirable. If you view it as a guide for moving forward, here it can have more value.Compared to earlier, pioneer times there is a greater critical mass of users online - a mass of users who are prepared to (or will only if they can) shop online - and the infrastructure to support it. This reviewer recalls in the mid-1990s using the Internet (pre Amazon) to buy things and twenty years on the experience is totally different. Then, you would wait for days for someone to check their email inquiry (if they were that fast!) and reply and once you had reached an agreement it wasn’t plain selling. You would have to send a bank cheque by airmail and wait for it to clear. Far too many companies were not geared up to export either, so you had to tell them what was necessary. Delays, delays and more delays. Even those who could accept a credit card (manually, not online mind!) invariably requested a fax of your ID too. It was a more innocent time – can we say risk of identity theft? Sure, let me fax over a copy of my credit card, a signature, a copy of my passport and a letter to you for a USD25 computer part…Yet today, within one minute, this reviewer could order and pay for a copy of this book online from Amazon.com (other outlets are available). Within hours the book may be dispatched and it could be received from the other side of the world within days. (At the time of writing this review on a Monday afternoon, if the book is ordered within the next four hours, Amazon says it would be received by Thursday if priority shipping is selected). For books, it is even quicker if you use a Kindle or similar.Often it is easier, faster and not always noticeably more expensive to order online from another country – the selection can be better too. If you are an even savvier customer, you might use a price comparison website and maybe you save a few per cent buying from a new vendor and spend a few minutes opening yet another account, or you buy from a trusted global player who already has your credit card number and address. To use Amazon as the example, if I want to give a copy of this book to my father his address is already stored there. Even if I wanted to give it as a gift to a new friend, a new address can be added in a minute; I can select gift-wrap and bang… all done. It is so easy, yet I can be a fickle customer and if another vendor for whatever reason attracts me, maybe my purchasing preference is redirected.Even a fraction of this was unimaginable in the past, yet those who were there at the start and did it felt rather good and special. What would the alternative have been? Maybe a local bookstore would “special order” something, via their supplier, who would go to another supplier and a whole chain would develop, with profit to add at each level – should the chain break or be delayed, the poor customer might not know without a lot of effort. After placing my order online, I can track its progress to my door…So clearly efficiencies help us as a customer, or e-retail participant; but they help our competitors too and create greater obligations on us all. Already we are starting to see things going in phases; concepts that were trialled and didn’t work are replaced by other things, for them to be replaced by the things that once didn’t work but might do this time around, possibly with the benefit of modification, a new technology or just “this time good luck”. Companies come and go too. eBay was once viewed as the ecommerce darling, a great place for the consumer to hold a virtual “garage sale”. Then the company’s focus switched to big companies, especially overseas ones and customers increasingly became disenchanted or found sites offering better value and now many customers have fell out of love with eBay. Many smaller businesses too and the bigger ones who remain might not be so loyal as, after all, one platform can be the same as another, it all depends on whether it delivers the business!Existing retail is changing already. It was not so long ago that the stupendously-large “megamart” was the future, then the companies started focussing on their “local” stores with a smaller footprint and selection. Even without e-retailing, they don’t really know what they want. Maybe they know their ship is sinking and are trying to simultaneously find dry land and fix the hole.The authors note: “Brick and mortar stores will still exist, but often as showrooms for hands on experiences and test centres for new products. Their footprints are shrinking, and mini stores will open in apartment buildings and offices, acting as distribution spots for customers. Few of us will buy products in stores, and even fewer will take them home. Most purchases will be made online and delivered with regular items like water, toilet paper, food and beauty products being scheduled on a regular basis. Everything will be connected to the cloud, creating a new era of smart products. In addition to smartphones, we'll have smartcupboards, smarttables, smartfridges, smartpens, smartclothing, smartcars, you name it. So your milk will reorder itself when it's low and show up on your doorstep the next day. Your dress will organise a date with the dry cleaner before you realize it's dirty. The middleman will disappear, creating direct links to producers and consumers around the world. This will increase collaboration at every stage along the supply chain, resulting in more customised and personalised products and remarkable customer experiences.”Little stick-on buttons that Amazon has started selling, for a select few brands, that let you re-order products such as washing powder will only be a stepping stone; yet for this reviewer they do seem a lazy step too far – even if they were free. They are not, the customer is expected to pay several dollars a button for the privilege of ordering a pre-determined size product from a pre-determined brand at what ever price the vendor will sell them for - how online stores can have many different prices for the same product, dependent on who you are is another subject!One interesting expectation is the growth of 3D printing, whether in the home or as a service within the local community. The authors believe this will be the future, so our physical goods will be made literally on our doorstep; this will disrupt a lot of intermediary stages. Just think now how many people are making illegal downloads of music and films. Will some of us be downloading illegal images of an IKEA bookcase before we send it to our 3D printer? How will stores selling new and used products cope? Already there is a problem with counterfeit products such as mobile phone chargers. Is that a counterfeit chair or a genuine one?Look around you: you may be forgiven for thinking that the online business is larger than it is. Still over 90% of all transactions are made offline, the authors note, so if such change and transformation has occurred with such a relatively small share of the market, imagine how it may be when (rather than if) the bulk is done online. The authors talk about zero friction: “When it's just as easy – or easier – to buy something from someone around the world than it is to call in at the local high street store. When paying for something online is easier than using hard paper currency. When everyone participating in the shopping process, as both producers and consumers, is normal. When online and offline worlds don't exist because there's seamless integration between them. This is zero friction. When the barriers to create, buy and sell products online are gone, for everyone, making it just as easy, or easier, to go online and get what you want. It's a world of seamless customer experiences. It's the future. And we're building it faster than anyone could have predicted.”Access to this brave new world is not necessary restricted to the big companies either. Democratisation of business may occur. You just have to have the right product, the right idea and the right service and be on top of your game. Interesting times are ahead. If you have not thought about the world of electronic commerce other than to complain when your parcel is delayed, this book can be for you. If you even have a tangential “dog in the fight”, this book can provide a great scene-setter and act as a bit of a focussed crystal ball.The intelligent reader will, once they finish this book, start to reflect on the individual journey that it took to reach them; considering what it skipped past along the way.E-Retail Zero Friction In A Digital Universe, written by Greg Thain & Alexandra Skey and published by First Edition Design Publishing. ISBN 9781622878574. YYYYYAutamme.com
Greg Thain & Alexandra Skey deliver a review of the current market opportunities, barriers and competition for retailers in the internet age in E-Retail Zero Friction in a digital universe. Thain, author of FMCG: The Power of Fast-Moving Consumer Goods, that I reviewed in March 2015, knows the market, has endless examples for both retail giants and SMEs. E-Retail explores different business models, distribution painstakes, payments options, market penetration, taxation, mass customization, crowd funding and Y Combinator, and cross-channel service like simultaneous retailing. They recognize the power of Amazon, Coca-Cola and Wal-Mart, but also point at their weak points e.g. curation of customer data to predict future buying, big data, and inventory costs.Mobile, service on social media are valued, but "not as secret sauce. The real conversations retailers should have is how to merge the channels they're using, so they can interact with their customers seamlessly. The real conversion is about the unified experience." The consumer becomes more powerful, demanding green business, zero shipping costs and easy return processes. "As more of us come online in the next 10 years, we can communicate and collaborate at virtually no cost. This will affect all aspects of our society, not just the retail industry." And yes, "Zero friction is a long way from reality." This book shows retail ideas and customer experinces, and uncovers the beginnings of a zero friction world. Highly recommended for retailers, marketing & distribution students, and others interested in the transformation going on in retail.