Bettering Amazon: Advice for the Smaller Retailer

Following my article outlining some of the lessons learned from Amazon, here are a few pointers for the golf retailer on how one could use some of Amazons tactics.

So what does the rise in online sales mean for smaller retailers?

First of all, you are going to have to compete with Amazon and the other big online marketplaces – this is just a fact of life.  These behemoths of the online world have advantages in the scale of their operation, the sheer range of products they can provide, their reach, and their infrastructure – but do not be disheartened.

You have strengths that the online giants don’t have. So, what should you be doing?

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Lessons from Amazon

Times are a changing, and in the world of retail, things move very quickly indeed. The online (clicks) and offline (bricks) continue to battle for the consumer spend and, of course, each has its pro’s and cons. Bricks and mortar provide the experience and immediate gratification of being able to touch and see: whereas online stores have seemingly infinite choice, and greater convenience, enabling you to shop from your armchair.

If the online channel is of interest to you, then there is one certainty – Amazon has changed the marketplace for ever.

So, what does lessons can golf retailers learn from the largest online retailer in the world?

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Lesson 1: Have Clear Business Aims

Amazon established clear business principles and focused on them without distraction – no matter what anyone else thought or said.

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Old, “Establishment” Brand Makes Changes to Move with the Times! What can Golf Learn?

BBC 4 recently broadcast a thought-provoking documentary that had some very useful insights for the golf industry: “Inside Bentley – A Great British Motor Car”?  

It featured the thinking behind a £800 million investment in their latest model, the Bentayga: the fastest SUV ever built – a Bentley on steroids! It is the first time that they had developed an SUV. During its development it was essential that it sat perfectly in Bentley’s image, yet capable of winning-over future generations of customers. Clearly, they had recognised that, as the number of older customers diminished, (“the blazers” as they were referred to), the company needed to respond to the wants of younger generations.

Step one demanded product development as identified.

Step two importantly was the need to modernise their image at the point of sale. Hence the program saw the world’s oldest and largest Bentley dealer, Jack Barkley of Mayfair, having its interior stripped back and being replaced with sleek, new modern fittings and fixtures.

Bentley, an icon of British society, and Rolls Royce, have both recognised the need for change.  So must the golf industry if it is to prosper in changing times and it too needs to take a similar two-step approach.

The first, updating the product: offering different forms of golf, e.g. speed or football golf, for example, and competitions that are more in tune with family life today. The second, going out of its way to promote a new image for the sport giving it a much-needed, wider appeal: particularly to the Millennials who are so different to the majority playing golf now but need to be captured for the future.

Food for thought for the New Year!

Black Friday: Real Deals or Marketing Fluff?

It’s another year of Black Friday mania, but is this all a benefit for the consumer … or retailer?

With all the advertising that is going on, you would think most retailers are giving away stuff for free. However, in terms of consumer bargains, lots of the deals don’t really seem to deliver.

Buyers Beware

I’m sure there are a few steals to be had, but in general, buyers should beware. Money Saving Expert and Which? (the consumer rights site) have both reported that some deals are not as good as advertised. Last year, Which? published a study reporting that over 50% of “Black Deals” had been the same price or cheaper earlier in the year.

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