What Unexpected Sources of Competition Affect Retail Strategy?


    What Unexpected Sources of Competition Affect Retail Strategy?

    In the dynamic landscape of business, a CEO reveals how leveraging authenticity can edge out influencer competition, setting the stage for a discussion on unconventional rivals. Alongside industry leaders, we've also gathered additional answers that reflect the diverse and sometimes surprising sources of competition today. From the emerging influence of 3D printing trends to the integration of virtual reality shopping, discover how experts are adjusting their strategies to stay ahead.

    • Leverage Authenticity Against Influencers
    • Mitigate Open-Source Software Threat
    • Adapt to Hybrid Retail Models
    • Anticipate 3D Printing Trends
    • Embrace Subscription Service Models
    • Highlight Sustainability Practices
    • Integrate Virtual Reality Shopping

    Leverage Authenticity Against Influencers

    One unexpected source of competition I encountered was a fitness influencer who started selling supplements online. At GNC, we were ready to take on big brands, but a social media star with millions of followers? That was new territory. To adjust, we focused on authenticity and expertise. We ramped up our social media presence with real stories from satisfied customers and detailed content about our products' benefits. We even started featuring our own in-house experts in videos, which added credibility. I remember joking in a meeting that we were turning our scientists into Instagram stars—lab coats and all. It wasn’t just about keeping up with the influencer trend but leveraging our strengths to connect with customers on a deeper level. This shift helped us stay competitive and maintain trust with our audience.

    Josh Burris
    Josh BurrisCEO, STNDRD

    Mitigate Open-Source Software Threat

    We experienced a sudden increase in competition from open-source software (OSS) alternatives within the industry. These OSS projects harnessed a level of functionality close to that of ours, attracted cost-sensitive customers, and contributed to ousting us from the market.

    To achieve this, we went with a two-faceted approach. We first identified feature gaps in the OSS landscape through market analysis and prioritized the development of those functionalities to further solidify our position as the most comprehensive solution. We enhanced the ways customers could access support, offering premium tiers with guaranteed response times and access to specialized technical assistance, which was appealing to enterprise customers who valued the reliability and responsiveness of professional support.

    By focusing on our strengths, we successfully mitigated the threat from OSS competition by emphasizing our strengths and service offerings.

    Dhari Alabdulhadi
    Dhari AlabdulhadiCTO and Founder, Ubuy Netherlands

    Adapt to Hybrid Retail Models

    The infiltration of e-commerce giants into physical retail spaces presents a significant shift in the retail landscape. This move often combines the convenience of online shopping with the immediacy of in-store purchases. Traditional retailers may find themselves competing against these hybrid models, which utilize advanced logistics and tech-driven consumer analytics.

    These new storefronts can offer an enhanced shopping experience that blends the best of both worlds, setting a high standard for customer expectations. Retailers should consider how they can integrate digital strategies to stay competitive and relevant. Consider adopting innovative technologies to enhance the shopping experience in your stores.

    Anticipate 3D Printing Trends

    Advancements in 3D printing technology have given rise to the possibility of consumers creating products at home that were previously bought in stores. This shift towards personalized manufacturing can drastically alter consumer behavior, reducing the reliance on mass-produced goods. Retail strategies must adapt to this trend by perhaps offering unique designs that can be customized and 3D printed, thus keeping their offerings enticing and exclusive.

    It's important for retailers to monitor advancements in this technology to anticipate changes in consumer demand. Stay informed on 3D printing innovations to ensure your retail strategy remains ahead of the curve.

    Embrace Subscription Service Models

    Subscription services have revolutionized the way people shop by providing regular deliveries of products directly to their doorstep. This model builds brand loyalty and creates a consistent sales pattern that can undermine traditional shopping habits. Retailers facing this competition need to explore methods for building stronger customer relationships or consider implementing their own subscription models.

    By ensuring a regular and convenient service, subscription models can often provide a sense of value that might exceed the occasional store visit. Explore launching a subscription service for your products to nurture customer loyalty and provide consistent value.

    Highlight Sustainability Practices

    The rise of secondhand markets, particularly those focused on sustainability, has captured the attention of eco-conscious consumers. This shift not only promotes environmental responsibility but also creates a market for goods that traditional retailers often overlook. Retailers can adapt by highlighting their own sustainable practices or by offering high-quality, durable goods that retain value over time.

    Recognizing the importance of sustainability could help retailers align more closely with consumer values and market trends. Consider how your retail strategy could benefit from an emphasis on sustainability and quality to connect with environmentally minded shoppers.

    Integrate Virtual Reality Shopping

    Virtual reality shopping experiences are an exciting new frontier, particularly appealing to tech-savvy consumers who crave innovation. By simulating store environments and allowing for an interactive selection process, VR has the potential to create a novel and engaging way to shop. While some might see this as a niche market, it could very well dictate the future of retail by setting new standards for customer interaction and service.

    Retailers must stay informed about VR technologies and consider how such experiences could enhance their own strategies. Explore how integrating virtual reality into your retail strategy could transform the shopping experience and attract a new clientele.