Tag: competitionSubscribe 7 Posts
Give your customers a moving experience.* Many thanks for your responses to Part 1. Your input really supercharges these everyday topics. Now for the chequered flag! Form guide I thanked Neil for his technical update. I then asked why my car was surging, gurgling and gasping if it wasn’t due to the things I described. Neil politely posited another Delphic insight: that I used standard unleaded fuel. Correct again.
To change your life, change just one thing. Why do some businesses prosper while others perish? They have a point of difference. It doesn’t have to be big to be brilliant (small ones often work best). It just has to be ... Different. Here are two examples. Banana benders I can think of few things more generic than a banana.
Most savvy business owners are well aware of the way the technological world is changing, and the impact that it’s having on the way we do business. In less than 7 years, Facebook went from a college start-up to a global phenomenon of more than 800 million people, and Apple managed to get over 25 million iPads into the market in less than 13 months. We’re more connected, in more mobile and social ways than ever before.
Online shops: warm fuzzy or cold shoulder? A recent perfume purchase showed how ferocious competition, brilliant strategy and questionable tactics can all be part of an online shop. Whether you (plan to) buy or sell online this year or next, these observations may interest. On the scent If you think the printer market is competitive, check out perfume: high value and volume meets low weight and shipping.
A new grocery store opened in my area recently. I didn’t think much of this event, until I viewed it from a small business perspective. The arrival has changed my spending habits dramatically. If my neighbours follow suit, there will be blood. New Kid on the Block Here we are in front of the shiny new store. It’s big, bright, safe, clean, well staffed, well stocked and open for hours and hours. And they have beer. Defending the Title In the opposite corner is my former grocer – a tiny outpost of a modest franchise. It’s been there less than a year. It’s run by nice people (who did it tough last summer as there’s no ventilation). But their range is very thin due to space constraints, so I’ve switched teams. I haven’t seen a customer in there for weeks. The owners watch TV, or their fish. I asked them about the newcomer, but they couldn’t speak. Nor could the fish. The Pub that’s Too Dear Up the road we have one of my old bottle shops. Again, very nice people. But odd hours and crippling prices always made this a last resort. I’m quickly finding that price and availability trump niceness. Down & Out Down the road is the chaos I used to negotiate to reach my original grocer. These people weren’t so hospitable. Nor were they cheap. And I took my life in my hands just getting there. So I’ve only been back once in recent times. A cardboard sign proclaimed longer opening hours. The owners looked very tired. Upshot I’ve read that when a certain department store comes to American towns, local shops go under. Though I love the comfort and convenience of my new store, I sense it’s a vortex for the revenue of others – for whom I feel sympathy. And as I amble home with my groceries, I wonder if there’s a new kid gunning for my business. Or even yours. What do you think? Paul Hassing, Founder & Senior Writer, The Feisty Empire
This might sting a bit ... Here’s a mystery I hope we can solve. Seth Godin says that, while we should aim high with our goals, we should stay in the realm of reality. In other words, we shouldn’t try to out-Google Google, or out-Amazon Amazon. So why is Cash Converters (CC) trying to out-eBay eBay? eBaying for Blood I was hunting a rare Kylie Minogue DVD for my wife. The only copy for sale on eBay was in the UK. But there was one copy in Australia, on a site I’d never heard of: Cash Converters webshop. I live near a bricks-and-mortar CC store. My experience of this facility has been one of haggard locals pushing TVs in baby strollers with a singular sense of urgency. From CC’s signage and fit-out, I understand them to be a franchised, much-nicer-than-usual pawn shop. With the amount of TV advertising they do, I assumed they’d have no trouble moving the gear they buy. And if they did have anything left over, why not simply flog it on eBay? Yet they’ve gone to the trouble of setting up their own retail site with eBay-like features. Theory Query I quizzed CC about this, but received no reply. Looks like it’s up to you and me. So far, I’ve come up with the following possible reasons for a dedicated online store: Build & control the CC brand. Avoid eBay & PayPal charges. Obviate any lack of control or certainty about eBay. I’d be fascinated to hear if you concur with these theories or have better ideas. Spinning Around For the record, I bought two DVDs through CC’s webshop. The transaction was seamless and the goods arrived fast. Alas, one case was broken: it looked like the postie had dropped it. I emailed CC, who immediately refunded the purchase price and postage without query or rancour. This was actually faster and more personal than (my experience of) eBay’s issue resolution system. So, maybe there’s a fourth reason for CC’s online store: 4. To out-eBay eBay! Who knows: they may just pull it off. Your View What do you think CC are up to here? Have you experienced CC’s webshop (or any other eBay alternatives)? Has your business ever wanted to beat a ‘category killer’ at its own game? We’re on the market. I welcome your bids. Paul Hassing, Founder & Senior Writer, The Feisty Empire
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