Dateline: 20??: Channel-less Distribution?
Well, during my tenure here at SDSI, 3 years and counting, three events or occurrences spring to mind:
The first is the easiest one… we, you, all of us, have formed a community where there wasn’t one. It's an awesome thing for the home team to consider. Who would guess that a bunch of eclectic non joiners like each of us would reverse all previous experiences and join forces, rallying around our “healthy living” space and celebrating our role in setting the San Diego lifestyle business in motion. Wow, thanks to all of you.
The second experience was definitely Amazon. When we presented our first Amazon 1.0 clinic, I contemplated if Amazon was the devil or angel? I would say the question remains unanswered. But one thing is for sure. It has completely changed the face of buying, never mind retail.
It created very complicated selling strategies for major brands and similar actions by retailers. Specialty brands struggled with control issues and pricing. Retailers struggled with the same. Distinct market channels emerged to protect brands or prices or legacy distribution strategies. Pundits (me included) decided that the Omni channel was the answer… be everywhere, do a good job, keep high intentions… it will work out.
Uh, not so well.
The third wave hit me just this week when I saw this quote from the management team at Zumiez:
“With the increasingly blurred lines between retail channels, we’ve moved toward a channel-less world in which the empowered consumer isn’t focused on going into a store or buying online but rather transacting with a trusted retailer. With the barriers between the physical and digital worlds coming down and the increased speed at which individuals communicate, trend cycles are rotating faster than ever before. The same holds true for the pace at which demand for emerging brands can go from local to global in nature. In this type of environment where consumers can access so much information, a new level of transparency in retail is being created that is driving out inefficiencies within the market and forcing consolidation in the industry.”
Channel-less sales, empowered consumer, trusted retailers, rapidly emerging brands… brothers and sisters, the future is here right now. It’s an amazing time of opportunity. SDSI will do its part to create insights into the business tools for the future, continuing a special focus on digital marketing... it’s the new frontier!