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Walmart’s problem isn’t Amazon — it’s a lack of interest in who its customers are – Business Intelligence Info

2020年4月19日 | | in bck体育官网手机版下载

ThisweekinvestorsheldacollectivefreakoutoverthefactthatWalmart’sonlinesalesgrewatjust23percentoverthefourthquarterof2017,downfrom50percentthepreviousquarter。

TheytankedWalmart’sstockby10percent,itsbiggestone-daydeclineinseveraldecades。

WhileIalsohappentobebearishonWalmart,Ithinkitsinvestorsaremissingthebiggerpicturehere。

E-commerceaccountsforlessthanfourpercentofWalmart’sbusiness。

Thisisacompanywithmuchbiggerproblems。

UnliketherestofWallStreet,IdonotagreethatWalmart’sproblemsbeginandendwithAmazon。

TheWalmart-versus-Amazonbattleistypicallyframedasaclashbetweenanascendante-commercebusinessandadyingretailindustry,butthat’snonsense。

Sellingproductstostrangersdoesn’tcutitanymore。

Tosucceedinretailtodayyouneedtostartwiththecustomer,nottheproduct。

Youneedtoflipthescript。

Letmeexplain。

NearlyeveryAmericanspentmoneyataWalmartlastyear。

Thevastmajorityofuslivewithin20minutesofaWalmartstore。

Thecompanyhasalmost5,000retaillocations,overtwomillionemployees,andover140millioncustomers。

Butletmeaskyouasimplequestion:WhatwasthelastthingyouboughtatWalmart?

Walmartcertainlycan’ttellyou。

Gotanyreceiptshandy?

OnceyouwalkpastthecashregisteratWalmart,you’regone。

Walmartisstillessentiallyaproductcompany。

Ithasdecadesofinstitutionalexperiencewithsupplychains,transportlogistics,andinventorymanagement。

Itknowshowtobuyandsellproducts。

Thatworkedfineforalongtime。

Itdoesn’tanymore。

Intheoldproductmodel。

Youbuiltaproduct,putitintoasmanychannelsaspossible,andhopedtherewerecustomerswaitingattheendofthosechannels。

Inthenewservice-basedmodel。

Youstartwiththecustomer,understandtheirwantsandneeds,andthenwrapyourservicearoundthatcustomerviarelevantchannels。

Nomorepushingunitstostrangers。

Nowletmeaskyouanotherquestion:WhatwasthefirstthingyouboughtonAmazon?

It’ssittingrightthereinyourorderhistory。

Goahead,openupanewbrowsertabandlookitup。

Ibought“TheSevenHabitsofHighlyEffectivePeople”and“InsidetheTornado:MarketingStrategiesfromSiliconValley’sCuttingEdge”onJanuary11,1997。

AmazonisbeatingWalmartbecauseitknowsitscustomers。

That’sthereason。

Plainandsimple。

Sodoesthismeane-commerceisboundforglory,andretailisdoomedtofailure?

Willitbeallretailapocalypseandzombiemallsfromhereonout?

Ofcoursenot。

Rightnow,thereareatleastadozennewcompaniesinthemidstofopeninghundredsofnewretailstores。

Andwhyaretheydoingthis?

Becausethestorestheycurrentlyhavearemakingmoneyhandoverfist。

You’veprobablyheardsomeofthenames:Allbirds,Casper,Birchbox,BollBranch。

Accordingtoreal-estatedatacompanyCoStarGroup,theseonline-firststoreshaveincreasedtheirretailspacetenfoldoverthelastfiveyears。

WarbyParkerisaveraging$3,000persquarefootofretailspace,whichisalmostasgoodasTiffany’s(!

)。

Whyisthishappening?

Well,onereasonisthatit’sreallyhardtooperateasastandalonee-commercevendor。

Almosttwothirdsofallonlinesalesareownedbyjust15giante-commercemarketplaces。

RetailNextCEOAlexeiAgratchevrecentlytoldme:

“Asanecommercevendor,youhavereallyhighvariablecostsaroundshippingandreturns。

Ontheotherhand,Amazonisanamazinglogisticalmachine,andthey’renotevenrunningataprofitmostofthetime。

…Andtheotherquestionis,howdoyoureallydifferentiateyourselfonline?

Anythingyoudoonyourwebsite,acompetitorcanstealprettyeasily。

Butyoucanactuallycreatereallycoolexperiencesinstores。



Asaresult,retailischanginginallsortsofinterestingways。

Takealookatb8ta,anewpersonaltechnologychain。

Ithaship,minimaliststoresthatletyoutryoutthelatestgadgets。

What’sevenmoreinterestingisthatb8tadoesn’tmakeanymoneyfromproductsales。

Productmanufacturerspayasubscriptionfeeforaccesstoitscustomerbase。

Andasforthosemalls?

Well,theonesthataredoingwellaredoingreallywell。

Asoldretailersarereplacedbynewonline-firststoresthataredoingtwotothreetimesmorebusiness,themallsbenefitfromtheincreasedfoottrafficandattractbetterbrands。

Everyonewins。

Again,it’sneverbeenjustaboute-commerceversusretail。

It’salwaysbeenaboutflippingthescript—startingwiththecustomerasopposedtotheproductsale,andwrappingbothyoure-commerceandyourretailchannelsaroundthatcustomerexperience。

Walmartisaproductcompanythatstillviewsitse-commerceeffortsasadistinctchannel,aseparatelineofbusiness。

That’snottoosurprising,consideringthevastmajorityofitse-commercebusinesshasbeenbought,notbuilt:Jet。

Com,Bonobos,ShoeBuy。

Com,Moosejaw。

Com,etc。

Walmarttriedtobuyitswayin。

Butitdoesn’tseemtobeworkingout。

Theleopardcan’tchangeitsspots。


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