We all know the impact ecommerce has had and will continue to have on brick and mortar retailing. The consensus of both ecommerce leaders such as Amazon and brick and mortar stalwarts such as Nordstrom and Best Buy is that retail is not an either-or proposition. Why else would Amazon purchase Wholefoods and open brick and mortar grocery stores and book stores?
Apple retail stores generate more dollars per square foot than any other retailer in the world. Scott Galloway points out in his new book The Four that Apple differentiates itself from other tech giants Google, Facebook and Amazon, because Apple is a luxury products company. Consumers spend eight to ten times more for an Apple iPhone than a Samsung Galaxy, because they are infatuated with the brand. Apple products connote a status that makes consumers feel good about their purchases.
Making your brand relevant and socially useful is one of the challenges affecting kitchen and bath showrooms. How to you accomplish this? The first stop is your website. Are you providing information that customers want? Are you making it easy to find information? Pretend you are a customer looking to remodel your kitchen. If you went to your website, would it deliver the information you want and need? Would it encourage you to call, email or visit your showroom? Ask yourself what you can do to make your brand more relevant and useful? This is a great place to start because recent research found that consumers find 44% of all brand experiences as boring.
There’s a fine line between risk taking and dumb. Many of the great CEOs in today’s corporate world, including Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Netflix’ Reed Hastings and Coke’s James Qunicey believe in the power of failure. If you are not taking risks, you are not thinking creatively enough they argue. One of Bezos’ great competencies, and there are many, is that he is quick to pull the plug on projects that don’t appear to pan out. As Scott Galloway points out in his new book, The Four: The Hidden DNA of Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google,Bezos divides Amazon’s risk taking into two types: 1) Those you can’t walk back from (“This is the future of the company.”), and 2) Those you can (“This isn’t working, we’re out of here.).
Five years ago, no one would bet on Best Buy. The poster child for showrooming, Best Buy appeared destined for the same graveyard that housed vanquished competitors Circuit City and Radio Shack. Best Buy appointed Hubert Joly as its new CEO in 2012, and he developed a plan dubbed Renew Blue that featured:
50 percent of customers are interested in purchasing custom products and 48% of those customers are willing to wait for a product that they can call "all their own," found a 2016 Deloitte consumer survey. Those findings certainly spell good news for BKBG member showrooms. The ability to produce unique products whether they are split finishes, unique combinations of handles and spouts on faucets, custom system showers or individualized pieces of cabinet and door hardware for kitchens provide showrooms with competitive advantages that can't be replicated by online retailers, big box national chains or order takers down the street.