Last week Amazon announced the release of the Kindle Fire and Kindle Touch, continuing their transformation of how we read, watch, and consume all forms of media. During an Erick Schonfeld's TechCrunch interview, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos remarked “in the modern era of consumer electronics devices, if you are just building a device you are unlikely to succeed.” Likewise, you could argue that "in the modern era of consumer convenience, if you are just adopting technology you are unlikely to succeed." What we all love as consumers of Kindles, iPhones, Facebook, and all other great products is the end to end experiences they deliver to enhance our daily lives. As the champions of end to end convenience experiences, retailers have the opportunity to expand the concept of convenience to new heights through innovation.
The National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) annual trade show offered retailers amazing new ways to take advantage of the latest technologies, services, and consumer trends to grow their business. From revolutionizing the way we pay with Google Wallet to leveraging daily deals and promotions to drive traffic, retailers will have their choice of industry innovations to choose from. In making these choices, it is critical to remember that technology is just a tool, and without a strategy to create compelling convenience experiences, retailers may discover they haven't achieved their desired outcomes. One clear example of this is the success and failure retailers have had with daily deal sites like Groupon.
Consumers love daily deal sites because they get unbelievable discounts on products, brands, and services. Retailers excited by the daily deal concept may have varying impact between departments. Marketing departments love them for the volume of new and loyal customers they bring. However, if not supported by a strong strategy, operations choke on sudden un-forecasted demand and accountants are surprised by the sudden loss of profitability. Looking forward, the new found possibilities of mobile promotions can accelerate these benefits and/or challenges by enabling retailers to better target consumers based on their buying behavior and location.
As retailers evaluate technology partners to create compelling convenience experiences, they should keep in mind the following:
- Does the solution deliver the experience, or just enable it?
- Is the solution supported by a large partner community?
- Can the platform adapt to the rapid change of technology?
Bezos: “In The Modern Era Of Consumer Electronics Devices, If You Are Just Building A Device You Are Unlikely To Succeed.” By Erick Schonfeld (http://techcrunch.com/2011/09/29/bezos-in-the-modern-era-of-consumer-electronics-devices-if-you-are-just-building-a-device-you-are-unlikely-to-succeed/)