The pace of change in the digital to consumer world is quickening, particularly with regard to the most coveted FMCG market place.
In the last few weeks frenetic new world activity has included:
1. Facebook and eBay ( I did not see that combination coming) joined up with an open network deeper integration with components of x.commerce and Open Graph. That combination brings the power of Paypal, Milo, Magento, GSI, Zang, Where and Red Laser into a powerful platform on Facebook. The ingredients provides a delicious base for both clever minds at either eBay and Facebook, or any third party application developers. This one bears close watching.
2. eBay announced an increased expectation for mobile sales this year for $5 billion, up from $4 billion forecasted just a few months back.
3. Facebook and Walmart (a cross-over old world retailer, trying its best to become new world) announce a powerful local marketing powerhouse, again fueled by Facebooks enormous client base. Perhaps most important to Walmart is the depth of data they will be able to cull from the efforts. Having customer or prospect data, and mastering how to correctly understand using it is one of the 5 key elements to retail dominance by 2015.
4. Amazon announced the expansion of their catalogue of specialty stores. They also got physical with at-store pickup in several test location 7-Elevens. Finally, and perhaps most importantly they moved aggressively into the tablet market with Kindle Fire. I suspect they see this device as a controllable consumer purchase and purchase-consumption device. This additional manner of “connection with the consumer” supports another of the 5 key elements to retail dominance in 2015.
5. Google engages with the announcement that they will secure $2.5 billion in mobile ad revenue up from $1 billion last year. They announce a new circular style for search results. They go head to head with just about everyone with an online music store. And finally they move aggressively to push NFC checkout pads into more retailers so they can gain the high ground with Google Wallet.
In the old world the pace quickens as well as more traditional bricks and mortar players strap on mobile and online
applications, and even pursue online grocery shopping.
2. Interestingly Price Chopper and ShopRite are going head to head in both store based and online grocery shopping in Albany. Shoprite is using both traditional advertising and more stealthy search based tools to penetrate this new market. And ShopRite is able to feature its online store. Price Chopper is suing because ShopRite has purchased the online search rights to Price Chopper and Price Chopper Flyer. This IS the new world colliding with the competitive rules of the old.
3. Price Chopper is also adding integrated multi-channel capabilities in mobile and online.
4. Shop N Save (SUPERVALU), has added a mobile application that will help customers find products in stores. Wegmans has had this for a while.
5. Safeway just touted their ability to deliver stealth pricing to individual consumers through their Just for U program. They did this as part of their quarterly reporting to analysts.
6. I have talked to five grocery type retailers in the last month. All have big plans for the growth of their online commerce business. Multi-billion dollar plans. Within the next few years.
It strikes me that the old world and the new are approaching this from opposite directions.
In the case of the old it is buy something from me.
The new world seems to be saying connect with me and let me help you buy something.
Very different approaches. In both cases however, they seem to be closing in on the same objective. They want to be become relevant to the consumer. Relevant retention is another of the 5 key elements to retail dominance by 2015.
A few will eventually succeed.