July 2020 - 26

DIRTY SECRETS
Online sales and omnichannel fulfillment are here to stay.
The biggest shift is " no more excuses. " Retailers and brands
have come up with all kinds of excuses for why they didn't
need to invest more in omnichannel. " My margins are too
thin. " " My price points are too low. " " My products aren't
cost-effective to ship. " And probably the biggest one: " My
consumers prefer to buy in a store. "
You've all been answering the innumerable phone calls and
emails for months now, and the pandemic has revealed that
omnichannel is a necessity. While it may not be so central
once more stores open, it will still have a lasting impact -
consumers will want to know if something they're looking for
is in stock before they go to the store. Consumers will want
options on how to receive the goods - in-store or curbside
pickup, or delivered to their home. And consumers won't care
what your margins are, or your price points, or your shipping
costs - they will expect it no matter what.
This crisis is creating a strong incentive to push past any
hesitation and build out an online aspect of how to operate.
Many small businesses will be forced to have two business
plans: one that operates when social distancing orders are
lifted, and one that they can flip on when people are ordered
to stay at home. These need not be mutually exclusive. The
backup mode of operation can act as a way to augment
existing business, even while people are allowed to physically
enter the shop.
What Does This Mean for Non-Subscription
Retailers?
Before there were websites, there were stores that
operated only in the physical world. Eventually, retailers
discovered that a web presence was another way to reach
their consumers. The same thing happened with catalogs.
And flash sales. And outlet stores. And that's exactly what's
going to happen with subscriptions.
If the past is prologue, valuations of subscription retailers
will explode. That's what happens when a new form of retail
is created: Investors can't invest in it fast enough. In the
end, smart retailers will find a new avenue to offer their
products to consumers.
If there's one thing that COVID-19 has taught us, it's the
importance of being agile and flexible. The market and
landscape on which your business operates can change
practically overnight, and if you're unable to adapt, your
bottom line will take a serious hit. But on the flip side, we've
also seen numerous merchants rise up and adapt to the
changes really quickly.
Christina Salwitz, the Personal Garden Coach, is a container
designer, public speaker, horticultural guidance counselor, service
provider for The Garden Center Group and photojournalist
based in Renton, Washington. She can be reached
at personalgardencoach@comcast.net.
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July 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of July 2020

July 2020 - 1
July 2020 - 2
July 2020 - 3
July 2020 - 4
July 2020 - 5
July 2020 - 6
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https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/LGR/january-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/LGR/thriveguide-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/LGR/november-december-2020
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