#RetailCrisis Is Trending, Don’t Fall for It
I have been reading articles today on the #retailcrisis, trending on Linkedin and elsewhere. The stories are new but the theme is the same, week after week. It seems verdict is in, bricks and mortar businesses aren’t just facing a crisis but are about to cease to exist. The headlines are written, and all that remains is to board up the last shop and we can all go home.
But before you lock up, and head home, it might be worth having another look.
Something else is happening and it is happening everywhere around the world. The #retailcrisis is not what it seems.
At InstantLocal we see two trends at play that are changing the retail landscape everywhere.
1) Everything is the same everywhere
The articles proclaim the online giants have won. They have made shopping online easy, and with fast fulfillment, more convenient. Their sites feature thousands of brand name products in every size and color.
And, this is the problem. The big box retailers feature largely the same products, same brands, the same store layouts and promotions everywhere you go.
The result… there is no need to go to these big box stores. They are being replaced and are now closing stores, laying off staff and losing money.
Their ubiquity has made the shopping experience generic and boring. It’s more of the same. With little to no differentiation consumers simple engage based on the best price for the least effort. There is no need to be loyal.
2) Everyone wants to act locally
Today, consumers, especially millennials, are demanding engaging experiences that correspond to their identity and values. While these identities may share some characteristics from location to location, the underlying commonality is the desire to be connected locally. Local brands, farm to table, concept shops and pop-ups, seasonality, and local differentiation are in demand by savvy consumers everywhere.
Many local businesses, large and small, have figured this out. Sometimes it is simply offering a wide selection of locally sourced products, or making their own products. Others are changing their marketing strategies to offer experiences that appeal to locals in tune with local culture and trends.
Changing #retailcrisis to #retailsuccess
Local strategies lead to success for local businesses. Everyone wants to act local, this is a mega-trend that is reshaping local business around the world. The businesses that recognize what this means and deliver a local experience can succeed in this fiercely competitive retail environment. They will have local and loyal customers, they’ll even have a line-up at the cash register or a waiting list to get seated!
We are witnessing the change
Many local businesses from Austin and DFW on InstantLocal understand #retailsuccess. They are succeeding, attracting local and loyal customers with products and services that are aligned and appeal to their local markets. We are witnessing a change.
These businesses understand the need to feature, connect, and promote local to stand out. They get that consumers want to express their identity, satisfying their desire to connect to what makes their community interesting and special.
Let’s not turn the lights out and lock the door. Take another look at the innovation and #retailsuccess happening everywhere. The places with the line-ups to get a table, selling out locally designed clothes, buzzing with customers, and getting the most attention are the ones that offer a unique local experience.