A „Silver Bullet“ will not save your retail business
Last week I was on a call with a furniture retailer. A couple locations, not large by any means – but not tiny either; „been in business for over 60 years“. What stated as a “got a minute” type call turned into a nice dialog about challenge; specifically challenge traditional retailers face. I will admit it was a venue for him to vent as I knew early in there was no way I was going to change his perspective. So I listened, offered input, some criticisms – ideas, and a bit of encouragement. What struck me – and the genesis for this very short post today was when he said, “the silver bullet.” A buzz phrase of which I am not at-all a fan and a belief that I feel sets business up for a bad trajectory.
SPOILER ALERT: There is no silver bullet. There’s the punchline.
I always tell my teams “If it is all important, then nothing is important” (with a nice healthy pause). As to the “Silver Bullet” – If it were that easy, wouldn’t everyone have figured it out by now? Yet we have all heard it; the silver bullets. Name some off in your business. At least list things that you „signed-up“ for that produced far less than you anticipated. While personally I will not sign-up for the “silver bullet” save to retail, I will sign-up to the creation of a strategy to reinvent one’s retail business. I honestly believe it is the best (only) „bullet“ to be had (carrying the theme of the topic forward). It’s no secret that over 75% (or more in furniture) of retail revenue occurs in physical stores, and on a course that will not invert itself. Fortunately, Luckily – we are in a industry that has a high tactile component: To touch a sofa. To sit in a chair. But dealers need to reinvent for today’s consumer! I believe wholeheartedly it can be done!! You just have to do it.
Retail reinvention. So secret sauce. No silver bullet. A digital/technology first mentality – in all aspects of the business; online AND in-store. A reinvented retail strategy around providing a seamless, convenient experience across all touch-points with a high degree of speed and high quality of personal service. Retailers need to define (and document) what their “reinvention” looks like, how it works, how it should operate when done (it’s never done by the way), what it is going to take to get there (including uncomfortable $$$), and most importantly – and what a “win” looks like. (How are they going to measure progress?! – hint) Once mapped – ruthlessly execute!
Here is a great comparison and raw motivation!
Talk about reinvented. Talk about strategy. And practiced; not until they do it right, but till they can’t get it wrong. Flawlessly executed. You think they measure and adjust?! Are you ready to reinvent your business?