Thursday, July 23, 2015

Category Management : Some Thoughts On How To Bring Innovations In Retailing

Retailing is in constant evolution, challenged by new way to consumes, new needs, new technologies, new competition. I read a very interesting article about how retailers should approach innovation. 

Retailing is a simple game, but this is the most reason why it is so hard to stand out. And when the competition gets tougher, most of the time it is too late to innovate. I would like to highlight several inspiring bullet points of the article: 

The companies that are truly out-performing don’t necessarily bring a different what, but they bring an entirely different why
This means for retailers to have clear concepts, clear vision of what they want to offer to its customers. Most of retailers propose some category of products that already exists in a large number of other stores or channel (hypermarts, specialized stores, online pure players, sometimes even peer to peer solutions, and only for a simple example...). Obvious examples are Trader Joe, la Fnac, Whole Food Market, Costco, Ikea in the retail business. But yet, large retailers focusing on a different customer response and a real different shopping experiences are still rare.

When you examine the habits of highly innovative companies, you see that what they don’t do is as important as what they do do. For example, innovative companies don’t benchmark themselves vertically. 

The question is clear: is Walmart considering when selling a new TV screen it is facing a travel agency as a competition? 

Obviously, those approaches are difficult to handle. The statement is true as it shows clearly retailers should challenge more the way they conduct their business. And the question should always been considered to move on.

To let you think a bit more about it, some pics about clearly outstanding retail concepts.