This month’s shopping expedition is based on our desire to follow the government’s instruction of SIP (you know, Shopping In Place). With that in mind we decided to compare and contrast two terrific brands working in the same retail vertical, your kitchen. We spent time looking at both the long time industry leader Williams Sonoma and the more recent contender to the throne Sur La Table.
Both of these companies offer the consumer incredible selection. I don’t know who needs to look at 301 different Chef Knives (there were other things in this selection than just the knives like sharpeners and sleeves) but you can find that many on the Williams Sonoma site. There are many gift ideas on both of these sites as well.
So, when we shop a retail store, we look to see how the store is “working.” We want to know how it appears to the consumer, how it works for the sales-people and how it works for management.
When we are Shopping in Place (SIP), we want to ask some of those same questions.
As I said from the beginning, both sites are terrific. I would tell you I think Sur La Table is a bit easier to navigate than William Sonoma. Both have great product and pricing is similar. If there is a scale bender in my opinion it is Sur La Table being more in tune to what is going on in the world today. And taking their strength and presenting it to the customer with great relevancy.
It says here there is a significant change in the world of business that no one is talking about. We have read much about the temporary closing of restaurants and retail stores. We have read about the 90% + decline in hotel room nights and airplane travel. We have also read about the 200%+ increase in Zoom traffic. What we have not read much about and what the long-term consequences are is the Convention Business.
Businesses go to conventions because it is an efficient way to see lots of customers and potential customers at one time. They go there to show off new products, venues, developments, and ideas. The costs to attend these conventions have soared. It is so costly that some companies put a paper to pencil to weigh up the benefits of attending the conventions. There will be billions of dollars saved this year by not going to conventions. Billions that can be put back into the attendee’s and the exhibitor’s pockets.
These B2B companies are now having to put their thinking caps on to create other ways of getting in front of those very same customers. What is also interesting is that the decision makers in the retail and restaurant communities are attending fewer internal meetings and are taking a few more calls.
It is time to begin the selling process again. You have to be sensitive. You will hear “we are in the survival mode” a lot. But you won’t hear it everywhere. If your timing is good, and if your product or service is good, you have an opportunity to revive your business.
It will take old fashioned leverage of your relationships. If you don’t have relationships, find someone that does. (You might want to look at the tool https://6dos.co/. They are not associated with us but I think it is a pretty cool tool if you have some discipline in your organization.)
Did you know that AT&T said voice calls are up 200%? People are remembering that the first app for a smart phone was a …phone.
The question that conventions/exhibitions must ask is, “Will this last?” Will businesses decide they are better off spending their exhibit money on salespeople and hold them accountable? Or, would they rather spend the money at conventions?
My money says it will be a slow come back for Las Vegas. Until a vaccine is developed for Covid-19 people are going to be very cautious of huge gatherings. The lights will come back on after stadiums are allowed to be full again.
So, in the mean time start getting creative. And if you are stuck on how to get in front of Mr./Mrs. decision maker, contact Taylar Gomez (firstname.lastname@example.org ) or Rich Hollander (email@example.com ) or just go and visit our web site and www.axcelora.com . We are both very creative in helping our clients.
Rich Hollander is a retail expert with over 40 years in the industry.