Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Specialty Retailing - The Game Has Changed

Specialty retailing, which emerged in the 1970's, blossomed, as merchants found they could concentrate on specific product categories, offering greater variety and quality, more informed service, offering a pleasant shopping alternative to the department stores, which were flourishing at the time. Shopping moved to malls, real estate rules retail, and the economics were appealing. The specialty store category gained traction and as department stores diminished in popularlity, specialty stores gained, expanded, and "chains" found a foothold...Consumers liked the brands, and store-based shopping in malls enjoyed a renaissance..The web came along, multi-channel selling took hold, direct marketers opened stores, stores went online, and the consumer supported it all. It worked...In my estimation, the game has changed forever. Stores will continue to exist, but their purpose will be redefined Web-based commerce thru online channels will continue expand, but top-down brands will find find it increasingly difficult to drive new prospects to their websites without adjusting to the paradigm shift underway in how consumers will shop and transact.

Our interest is to observe, listen, and engage with the marketplace to understand these shifts. We intend to share insights and trends with you, learning together, focused on the relevancy of e-commerce and the shopping experience as social networking goes global, as linkage of content becomes more seamless, as rich media and video help us all become storytellers. Information is energy, and consumers are going to transact based on the associations and trust established with those of social influence around topics of shared interest. It is clear to me that e-commerce connectivity, content, and community are going to be interwoven....


ROI - Return on Investment = Return on Influence

Social Influence Marketing will go mainstream by 2010

Social Media Usage will shift the focus to Social Influence

Think Global - Shop Local -

Search will transform into topics and trends

Community-based purchasing will emerge.

Stay tuned.


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