Retail Planning Is More Complex Than Ever

Retailing: From A to Z

In this tough economic environment, retailers need all the help that they can get. So, an excellent article from Wilson Perumal & Company on “Complexity in Retail: Why Companies Must Adapt in Order to Survive” is particularly timely.
According to Wilson Perumal: “We’re living in a time of incredible business complexity. Retail was perhaps the industry most affected by growing complexity in recent years – retailers that learned to master good complexity and limit the impact of bad complexity, gained a competitive advantage and beat their competitors. In the past, retailing was a relatively simple business:   You selected the right product range, bought the selected products at the lowest possible price and at the right quantities, merchandized the products in your stores, managed stock availability with supply chain efficiency and marketing efforts, and at the end of the retail cycle you exited old lines with minimal cannibalization. Simple. This simplicity allowed companies…

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Google to open flagship retail stores by end of 2013

Retail News

Apple and Microsoft both have their own, dedicated retail stores. Can Google be far behind? If the rumors are true, the answer is “not at all,” with the first Google stores due to open by the end of this year.

Citing “an extremely reliable source,” the gossipmongers at 9to5Google report that the Chocolate Factory is hard at work on plans to open its own flagship stores in “major metropolitan areas” in time for this year’s holiday season.

The stores will reportedly highlight Google’s Nexus devices, the Chrome browser, Chromebooks, and other new products to come, with an emphasis on giving prospective customers the chance to get hands-on with Googly kit before they buy.

About those aforementioned new products: according to 9to5Google’s source, foremost among them will be Glass, the Chocolate Factory’s much-ballyhooed experiment in wearable computing – which makes some sense, considering that few customers are likely to be willing…

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Retailers need to get an App, online isn’t enough

A recent survey conducted in the USA by Harris Interactive for Apigee, an online API management platform, has indicated that shoppers will be using their mobile phones more than ever.  Many smartphone users have come to expect more than just an online presence from retailers, especially the younger demographic – where a smartphone app is becoming more important, as it allows them to do more when they are out shopping.  Venture Beat Article is here.

Mobile App Survey results

Mobile app usage in retail

Grocers’ digital dreams: Sainsbury’s launching VOD, Tesco ending MP3

Interesting how leading UK Supermarkets Tesco and Sainsbury’s are leveraging their online traffic to get into Video On Demand and go head to head with Netflix and the like.

Gigaom

The UK’s number-three supermarket is preparing to turn itself in to an online movie and TV rental service, as it vies with with leader Tesco on digital devices, just as they have in the aisles.

Sainsbury’s is contracting video tech firm Rovi to power video on demand and for download in a service due to launch later this year under its new Sainsbury’s Entertainment brand.

Rovi promised paidContent “a transactional-based model that supports the sale and rental of premium titles versus a subscription-based service”. The service will launch initially on web and Sainsbury’s says it wants to take it later to internet TVs, Blu-ray disc players, smartphones and game consoles.

Sainsbury’s movie and TV offering will go head-to-head with Blinkbox, which Tesco acquired a majority of last year. Expect to see each supermarket competing with Netflix, Amazon’s Lovefilm, BSkyB and other dedicated VOD brands on internet TVs next year.

Like Blinkbox, Sainsbury’s…

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Apple iPhone 5 mobile payment wild card

The new iPhone 5 with iOS 6 is due to be released in September.  Historically Apple has set the trends in Smart Phones which others have followed, but this time around the iPhone 5 will need to respond to the challenge laid down by the Android phones some of which already have Near Field Communications (NFC) payment capabilities.  Rumours are rife that Apple will integrate NFC with the new iOS 6 Passbook iWallet, giving Apple the ability to leverage markets such as mobile payments, ticketing, coupons, loyalty programs and secure access.

It is estimated that Apple has over 250 Million active registered iTunes accounts each with valid Credit Card details to allow for app purchases, which would give Apple a significant advantage in the mobile payments race making Apple the Wild Card in the mobile payments pack.

See the full article here.

PayPal in race with Square for Mobile Payments

PayPal is racing with Square and other tech companies to become the mobile payments service of choice as consumers increasingly use smart phones to make purchases in shops, restaurants and other retail outlets.  PayPal a subsidiary of eBay has a significant advantage with over Square with over 113 Million active registered accounts across 190 markets.

In May this year PayPal announced that they had made deals with 15 USA retailers including Home Depot, Toys R Us, JC Penney and Barnes & Noble to utilise the PayPal Here payment system.  PayPal has also signed agreements with Verifone, Ingenico and Equinox Payments to get PayPal’s payment technology onto their networks of payment terminals.  The full article can be found here.

This week news also emerged that McDonalds are currently testing PayPal Here in 30 McDonalds stores in France with the objective of cutting down the payment transaction time by using customer PayPal accounts.  if this is successful, it would open up a potential market for PayPal in 30,000 McDonalds stores globally.  See the full article here.