In the past decade, we can feel how quickly the customer landscape changes. This emerged as a response to changes in shopping culture, business culture, while technological developments that did not change drastically. In the midst of various fast and easy offers of the disruption era, how do retail businesses respond and prepare the best for the future?
When we briefly look back ten years ago. In 2009, we were still in the middle of Facebook euphoria. In the same year, we began to be spoiled with the emergence of Alfamart and Indomaret mini markets which made it easier to meet daily needs. The minimarket extends from the central metropolitan area, urban, to the periphery.
Seeing other phenomena such as smartphones, only 103.7 million people from the total population who use smartphones actively. *Compared to today, there is 30% growth of active users of smartphones every year. The presence of social media such as Facebook and Instagram is still at the initial stage. We still have a lot of exploration with social media, some use it to find old friends, beautify self-image, and only a few have applied it to run a business.
All of these shifts have an impact on how consumers today choose, have preferences, and of course shopping habits. This shift, of course, continues to move towards improvements and acceleration. Retail entrepreneurs respond with various strategies.
The push and offer of the disruption era, on the other hand, gave a variety of surprises. In 2017, Matahari Department Store closed a number of outlets in several major cities. In more or less the same time, Hero is in the top 5 retailers in Indonesia, and with a turnover that was eroded 4% in the third quarter of 2017. **The position of the second giant retail incumbent is undeniably experiencing sluggishness. They are crawling to survive in the era of disruption. Eroded by small retailers.
Value Over Transaction
The incumbent retail brands then made various efforts to compete with digital platforms and culture. Create official social media accounts, and strategize like the online shop. On the other hand, e-commerce newcomers do not merely switch ways to sell e-commerce newcomers do not merely switch ways to sell online which was not online; offering values and benefits that are in accordance with today's consumer character, namely choosing transactions that are fast and can be done at one time together with other jobs. As a facility that cannot be separated from daily life, online retail shopping platforms are the best choice that provides maximum benefits for them.
Finally, the business model of online newcomers platforms like BliBli and Tokopedia can work together with various online product brands that are known and anticipated by consumers. Brands like Sorabel can reach consumers with tailored and personalized approaches. Until their brand finally got a place in the minds of consumers who liked a series of purchasing trips. Customer will only define a brand when they feel close to the brand.
These benefits are not offered by retailers who are switching online for e-commerce and online marketplace. They tend not to be as fast as e-commerce because there is no brand closure built there. Their footing is still on the brand's greatness outside the platform. Many don't understand that it's not as easy as getting brand equity in different contexts. The business model of e-commerce merges into a more intense brand spirit reaching potential customers. This strategy answers all the anxiety that many incumbent retailers experience. Being a player in the era of shifting means having to take part in shifting various old patterns of thought and work patterns. Continually being nurtured until the consumers themselves define exactly how the brand is planned.
Fixed Closure Becomes the Main Strength
There are at least four things that need to be considered when we want to develop a brand closure strategy, both for incumbents and newcomers. The aim is to be relevant and close to their respective markets; both existing and expansion.
1. What distinctive points do we have?
Being a winner means having the willingness to evaluate and rethink every part of the business system. Explore what makes it different and truly maximize competitive advantages and abandon the less supportive ones.
2. How do we get consumers involved in uninterrupted conversations about our brand?
The issue of consumer engagement always involves evaluating to check what activities are relevant, see whether on social media we are presentable enough? How do we involve consumers for brand innovation? And finally what new touchpoint can we offer so that they remain loyal?
3. What kind of strategic relationship do we need to manage?
As a follow up to customer engagement, strategic relationships are intended to increase loyalty for existing customers and grows awareness for new target customers. Various specialized events and empowering programs are initiated to strengthen brand relationships with customers.
4. How do we optimize technology to become a point of distinction?
The problem involving the use of technology is not merely just a slapstick. Technology in the form of applications and social media accounts must be a representation of further strengthens brand distinction. With a mobile-first and mobile-only approach and supported with analytic tools.
According to our perspective, the future of the retail industry may run according to predictions or even have its own pattern that is far from what business observers expect. Retail businesses and a smart Consumer Packaged Goods will prepare themselves and anticipate various existing improvement factors.
In addition, it ensures that the company is dexterous enough to respond to various rapid changes, even those that have not been predicted. Real work guided by these four factors will bring both incumbent and newcomers companies to be tomorrow's winners.