Gamma Blog: What kind of business are you?

What kind of business are you?

Photograph: “Good Cheap Fast”  — Poster by Mr-Cup

I attended the Checkout Conference 2018 in Dublin on the 13th February to get my regular update on trends in the grocery world, and indeed, on retail in general. Many of the speakers covered common themes. Most notable were those addressing fears about the future brought on by the emergence of retail disrupters. Amazon Go has really put the cat amongst the pigeons and bricks and mortar retailers are ruffled. Many of these concerns and observed trends mirror those I’ve observed at similar conferences in other countries and reported in copious retail articles.

Traditional retailers are fearful that the disrupters may have finally worked out a way to solve the old dilemma – you can’t be quick and good and cheap.

If queues are no longer needed, transactions instantaneous and quality product offered at a reasonable price (with lower operational costs) – can Amazon Go be Good, Cheap & Fast?

Ultimately, assuming that prices are comparable, retailers need to choose between fast or good. Get the customer in and out quickly and easily or offer a service/experience that makes them want to stay and offers more than the mere transaction. Those that offer neither will fall by the wayside. The leaders will offer both.

Quick will mean stores being in the best and most accessible locations for the consumer to visit both in daytime and post-work. Quick will mean offering options for delivery and collection that suit the busy consumer for whom time, according to several speakers, is more important than ever. Quick means offering technology that negates the hassle of paying and queueing. Quick means having the necessary parking to make loading the car easy.

Not every retailer will be suited to quick, so they must focus on good. Good means getting more than you can online, Good means getting service that is exceptional. Good means learning through in-store lessons and innovative technology. Good means quality human interaction that can’t be provided online. Good means making shopping more than a chore.

Will you be good or quick? Or both?

@ 2018 Gamma.ie by Feargal O’Neill