The last year has been an unprecedented period of change. Suddenly, we were faced with a devastating global pandemic and it quickly became clear that our personal and business behaviors had to change. The big question was, change how?
Words and phrases such as “social distancing” and “quarantine” became part of our daily vernacular, while other terms such as “shutdown” and “essential business” developed into points of controversy and debate. Sadly, stories of true personal tragedies became all too common, and feelings of fear and uncertainty grew.
As could be expected, the effects on supply chains were almost immediate. Buyers struggled to ensure that they would maintain adequate inventory, while simultaneously worrying about creating possible overstocks. In the beginning, many were unsure if pricing would rise due to continued production issues or fall due to a sudden lack of demand.
However, this is where the stability of human nature came into play. As history has shown us, our wants and needs don’t just stop, they shift. Some might say: shift happens. The key to business survival and growth is to pivot quickly and shift with the demand. Some examples, that include double digit growth, are:
It seems clear that the world has been forever changed. Although we cannot be sure what our “new normal” will become, it is likely to be a hybrid of the old ways, the current ways, and new ways that are just now being conceived.
However, there are seven things we can be sure consumers still want and need:
- Information – Including benefits, not just features
- Value – Not just price
- Choice – With immediate availability
- Interaction – To ask hard questions and get simple answers
- Peer level validation – People trust other people more than companies
- Respect – Validating their issues and concerns
- And more and more, Convenience – Today, this may take priority over everything
Accordingly, here are seven ideas on how our industry can react:
- Increase focus on optimizing and stabilizing your supply chain – There is no profit without availability
- Offer products that fill needs and delivers new solutions – Not just new tech
- Interact with customers in a fun way that provides useful information and adds value – Live demos, realspeak, life hacks, etc.
- Enhance on-line chat with technology-based product demos – Even help close sales
- Further streamline the buy on-line and pick-up in-store process – People don’t like waiting
- Reimagine and refocus retail spaces to make shopping easier and use technology to make it more interactive – Floor placement by key buying factor, color coding, fun short-clip videos that are informative, QR code surprise info, ibeacon/geofencing, etc.
- Although price is important, don’t make it the driving factor – Again…
In short, make it easier for consumers to buy smart.
Recently, cost increases have been happening across the industry, and we need to accept that these higher costs will not end anytime soon. From semiconductors to display panels to freight, many costs have more than doubled. However, this year consumers have shown us that they will pay more to get the quality products they want, when they want them.
For the CE industry, this epiphany could help create the biggest paradigm shift of all. Our industry has developed incredible technologies, and even with the recently increased pricing, still provides amazing values. Moving forward, manufacturers and retailers can choose to fall back to old ways and continue the race to the bottom, or work together to embrace new creative ideas that will build the foundation for a healthier industry and subsequently create happier customers.
At KONKA, it has been our goal to market products with the best possible mix of quality, technology, and value. Moving forward, we will shift, and work to better inform and engage with our customers to help them make the best educated choices.
This is a unique moment in time, and although things will undoubtedly continue to shift, demand continues. So, let’s shift positive, together!