Tag Archives: Shopping

Non-virtual Commerce Portals

I do most of my non-food shopping online and I think I might have made a mistake that’s all too common among business folks:  I assumed I was just mirroring that habits of the public at large.  I also figured that shopping malls would be on their last legs.  After all, if you never have to leave your house to go shopping or stand in a checkout line while some whiny baby serenades you, why wouldn’t you choose to do that?

Shopping mall

(Photo credit: pix.plz)

Not only am I way off base, but there is research that shows just how far wrong I am.  Despite some fairly big gains with respect to share of market by online merchants, 95% or shopping still occurs offline. According to a recent Nielsen report, in the fourth quarter of 2012, 5.4% of retail sales came from online channels, up from 3.6% in Q1 2008.  Big gains, a lot of dollars, but still a fraction of the retail world.  Why do I think this might be of interest to you?

Other than media, there is no other sector of business so dramatically affected by the grown of digital than bricks and mortar retail.  Since shopping malls have replaced the “downtown” in most places outside of major cities, they are sort of ground zero to feel the impact of this change.  Yet although many of them are suffering through high vacancy rates and others (as shown in this Dead Mall site) are dead and gone, something else is happening that is instructive.  As Nielsen found:

Malls are changing their focus and aren’t just places to buy things. They’re social centers, places for entertainment and employment hubs. They’re also transforming what consumers can expect from a shopping experience.  The line between shopping, entertainment, and community building has blurred. This blending of experiences has created an opportunity for retail to strengthen social ties within communities looking for communal experiences.

In other words, “Malls” are now non-virtual commerce portals.  I think they can go further.  Imagine a “guy” mall, for example.  Instead of Macy’s or Target as an anchor tenant, maybe it’s an indoor driving range, a shooting range, a bowling alley and a sports bar, surrounded by men’s shops, hardware stores, etc.  Why not stretch the thinking a bit and develop that property next to one that’s female oriented.   Combine each with an active social presence (Instagram and Pinterest will be very helpful here) and you’ve transformed the “mall” experience into something more akin to how people shop online.

We all need to think out of the box before they put our business in one to bury it.  You with me?

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To end the week in our usual food-themed way, I want to talk about a piece of advice I was given a long time ago.  I thought it concerned shopping and it turns out it’s important business advice as well.  I’ll admit that it was given to me in a different time, when much of the food didn’t come from a supermarket the size of several airplane hangers.  Shopping involved going to the butcher or the cheese store as well as the larger store where one would get grocery items and the advice was to make friends.  Despite the change in store sizes, it’s still great advice for shopping and business.  Let me explain.

A couple of Butchers at work.

Image via Wikipedia

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Familiarity Nixes Contempt

I’m a little tardy in posting today and I apologize.  Funny how time slips away, as Willie would say.  In any event, I have a quick question for you and then a few data points you might find of interest.

What’s the most important factor in consumer thinking when buying electronics?  What influences the brand decision?  How about when buying clothing?  Do you think it’s the same as electronics?  Well, it is, and that factor is familiarity.  This is according to The NPD Group Brand Landscape Report and reported late last week.  Why do you care? Continue reading

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Getting Slim

Yummy cake!

Image by todkat03 via Flickr

So here we are at the end of another week and as usual we’re going to talk about food. Today, however, I want to talk a bit about how food and I have changed our relationship over the last few months and how that may actually relate to business. I’m also hoping it might be helpful to those of you who want to dump a few extra pounds as I recently did. 30 of them, to be exact, and aside from having to buy a bunch of new clothes for which I was overdue anyway, there’s only good that’s come of it. So how did I do it and how can this possibly be business-related? Continue reading

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What Looks Good

Produce Stand

Image by vgm8383 via Flickr

For today’s Foodie Friday Fun, I want to talk a bit about shopping. I don’t know how you shop for food but I generally don’t go with a list. Oh sure, at my age I write a bunch of stuff down so I don’t forget things that I need to buy but they tend to be the non-food items or staples for the pantry.  The menu is generally dependent on what looks good.  Of course I have a vague idea of what I want but I’m rarely married to a menu.  This drives the other shopper in the house (to whom I really am married) crazy, especially when she’s the one going to the store and the meal instructions are “buy what looks good.”


Of course, you just know that there’s a business point lurking in here… Continue reading

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Short Pasta

Image via Wikipedia

This Foodie Friday the theme is sauces.  I was watching some golf highlights on TV and of course sauces came to mind immediately.  I know – my just having said the word makes you think that as well.  Or maybe not.  So let me explain and you might even see the business point that came to mind.

Let me say up front that what I’m about to say isn’t unique to golf highlights as you’ll see in a minute.  I’m watching the highlight and up from the lower portion of the screen comes a graphic describing what I’m seeing (no, the closed captioning wasn’t on..).  The graphic obscures a good 15% of the screen and all of the lower part.  The issue is that the hole was in the lower part and so the viewer never actually sees the highlight of the ball going in the hole (or maybe it nearly missed – who could tell).  What does this have to do with sauces? Continue reading

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Face Masks

Swine Flu Maximise protection 0 H1N1 Influenza...

Image by hitthatswitch via Flickr

I woke up Friday morning with a cold. By Saturday it had taken root throughout my body and I had the classic chills (and a very low grade fever), no energy, a rattle in my chest and a head that felt as if it needed a sump pump. A very pleasant weekend indeed!
Since I stopped commuting on trains and riding in elevators every day I haven’t been sick at all. This isn’t a coincidence and I had been on a train, in an elevator, on the subway, and in a number of offices early last week. I’m sure sniffles abounded. As did a business point. Continue reading

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