value

Do big retailers need to create social value to succeed?

The high street debate is one that attracts much comment on the Econsultancy blog.

Feelings run high when it comes to ensuring the survival of stores in our towns. The situation has yet to crystallise, though it’s clear there are business models that aren’t best suited to bricks and mortar any more. 

Alongside the trend towards experiential retail (shops doing more than simply selling stuff that consumers can buy cheaper online), a trend towards creating social value in the community may be emerging. 

High street vacancy rates are steady in the UK at 14% in 2013 and independent stores such as cafes are on the increase. Part of the reason for this is social and local. 

Most of us still value our retail centres as places to take a ‘humanity bath’, meeting people outside of the office, the church/mosque/synagogue and your neighbourhood. 

But what else can big retailers do to engender a closer community? Does every store have to get involved? What about digital technology, can it play a part at a community level?

The RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce) has released a report detailing the business case for socially aware retail. The report includes the results of six months of research with three ASDA stores. 

Whilst most of the findings are relevant mainly for larger focal points, chiefly supermarkets, here’s what I gleaned…

Customers won’t ‘like’ you unless they like the value you offer in return

malibuWith two thirds of adults now connected to at least one Social Media platform, its rise over the past few years has been staggering.

It’s hardly surprising therefore, that companies have followed consumers on to these social platforms in an attempt to engage with them and get noticed.

What is surprising however, is that some brands don’t seem to have put much thought into their social engagement strategy; they’re more about being social for social’s sake, rather than being social by design and really understanding what it is they want to achieve by connecting with existing and prospective customers via Social Media.

Hulu to advertisers: pay only for completed video ad views

The internet has arguably been the most exciting new development for advertisers in the past 50 years, but that doesn’t mean that online advertising is without its problems.

Arguably, one of the biggest problems is a misalignment of the interests of media buyers and media sellers, with the latter often not appearing to care much about the value the former receives.

Preparing for the next recession: five tips

In 2008, the world nearly ended as the global economy experienced its worst downturn in decades. The ‘recovery’ hasn’t exactly been easy, but those of us in the digital economy have been lucky as technology and online industries have thrived.

Increasingly, however, economists are voicing concern that the global economy is on the precipice again. Yes, these are some of the same economists who missed the signs that the global economy was on the brink of collapse several years ago, but nonetheless, the warning signs are hard to miss.

OpenTable: value is in the eye of the beholder

Take a look at the stock chart for restaurant industry solutions provider OpenTable and you’re likely to assume that the world is a pretty good place for OpenTable right now. OpenTable has been a hit with investors since going public, and its 126 price-to-earnings ratio brings back memories of the .com boom.

But behind the scenes, questions are being raised about OpenTable’s value proposition to the restaurateurs it serves.

E-commerce strategy – advanced tactics: goodwill

So, it’s roughly the start of a New Year, and with any luck, you’ll have a new budget ready to spend on your ecommerce site. But where to start?

Now, as long as you haven’t already spent it on renewing your software contracts, or on rule-book-throwing vanity projects for your board, then you’re probably trying to figure out what expenditure in e-commerce will get you the most bang for your buck.

Brands in Public: forget brandjacking, it’s really about value

Seth Godin is taking a lot of heat for Squidoo’s new service, Brands in Public. To many, Brands in Public is little more than a brandjacking service. As my colleague Meghan Keane put it: “Give Squidoo $400 a month. Or your brand gets it.”

In my opinion, the criticism being leveled at Brands in Public is justified but it has far more to do with value than brandjacking.