Apple’s plan to save Main Street retail

“Blink and you could have missed it, but Apple’s plans to save retail were hidden among hundreds of announcements at WWDC — soon every digital consumer experience geek will be knocking on Cupertino’s door,” Jonny Evans writes for Computerworld. “It’s about the ‘omnichannel.’ This is something ‘digital experience managers’ get paid to think about. They must assess the impact of smartphones on ‘the customer journey.'”

“Impacts such as these: 79% of smartphone owners use their device to shop; 60% check prices while they are in the shops and purchase items from online retailers if they find a better price elsewhere; 57% expect brick-and-mortar retailers to offer them discount coupons via smartphone,” Evans writes. “This is what’s happening — and Apple’s plans for retail could help high street retailers survive against merciless online giants.”

“I believe Apple has quietly assembled the pieces it needs to make its tried, tested, successful omnichannel strategy available to retailers worldwide,” Evans writes. “And when it does, it might just save the high street.”

Read more in the full article here.

11 Comments

  1. only a fool would pay more than he has to brick and mortar can not use the excuse of overhead to pass along prices . if you marked something that cost you ten bucks up to 20 and you can sell it to me for 13 be glad for the 3 bucks and don’t (as bean counters will) cry over the loss of 7 bucks you think you ought to have made. The only retailers that have bargaining position to hold the price are one of a kind sort of items or as in apples case true value intrinsic in the product baloney sellers beware a 3 dollar pound of baloney is about th same as a 5 dollar pound get used to it

    1. Only a fool who has no business experience would simplify this discussion this way.

      Customers absolutely have a choice as to what is important to them. If it is price, fine.

      However, a retailer does have a different overhead structure, and they do have to charge higher prices in a many cases to pay for that overhead. The key is to show value of that overhead to the customer so that they understand the price difference and are willing to pay for it.

      To use your example, I am more than happy to pay 5 dollars a pound for fresh baloney from the refrigerated butcher case at my supermarket rather than 3 dollars for baloney shipped via UPS in 90 degree heat from Amazon, even if I am an Amazon Prime customer and will get it in 2 days with free shipping.

      And even though I will go through Amazon for a HDMI cable, I have paid 3 times the Amazon price when I needed it immediately and did not want to wait 2 days. The added value at that moment of the brick and mortar retailer was the immediacy of the product delivery.

      Finally, I like to give business to local merchants. They provide jobs and add intangibles to the community, which you may or may not value the same way. I would love for more local business to have tools to be more valuable to customers.

      I don’t know about you, but I much prefer my town to have a thriving commercial community rather than a line of empty storefronts.

          1. And tao — do you have a business, or do you work for wages? Either way, let me know where you are located, so when I hire you or buy from you, I can offer you 30% of what you ask for — and, of course, tell you to get used to it.

        1. True, but good service is far from guaranteed at local retailers. Regrettably, it is often possible to get much, much more information about a product from Amazon than from a local store clerk who may know practically nothing about the products he/she is selling.

      1. Consumers should consider that when they purchase goods from their local merchants, the sales tax remains in their community to provide a major source of revenue for the town/city services. Each sales tax dollar lost to an Online Retailer such as Amazon, must be made up for by other taxes like Property Taxes. It is fiscally pragmatic to Buy Locally whenever possible because it benefits your own community and can help to limit increases in other taxes.

    2. Wow, so rent, sales people, electricity, insurance, payroll, etc… are all zero cost for brick & mortar stores?
      The higher price is for the opportunity to physically see the item and have it in your hands within the hour. If you don’t mind waiting a day or more, then buy it online.

  2. Taking any sales away from Amazon in the process probably doesn’t hurt Apple’s incentive for this either. I know I think twice now buying from Amazon because of sales tax now added in, depending on the item. Brick ‘n mortar still matters for many of the reasons given above.

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