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BILLION DIGITAL BUYERS: Twenty Digital Trends Disrupting the Global Retail Business

BILLION DIGITAL BUYERS: Twenty Digital Trends Disrupting the Global Retail Business

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BILLION DIGITAL BUYERS: Twenty Digital Trends Disrupting the Global Retail Business

90 Seiten
55 Minuten
Nov 22, 2019


Per a recent world economic study, we have entered a 'Fourth Industrial Revolution' where industries, technologies, and jobs are getting disrupted faster than ever before. The astronomical change in economic landscape, industry shifts, and consumer behaviors pose a direct threat to traditional business models.

Let's consider the brick and motor retail, for instance, losing revenues to the online and mobile channels. For the first time in retail history, customers are asking for what many retailers and brands cannot provide. In the United States, one in every five dollars spent goes to Amazon. In 2019, Amazon was responsible for over 50% of the growth in the United States commerce.

The rate of speed in change has been overwhelming. And, when retailers and brands don't realize and disrupt their operating model; satisfying the ever-demanding consumer becomes an increasing problem. Be it the e-commerce gold rush in Asia or rise of the last mile delivery 'Unicorns', retail industry at the peak of Digital Disruption.

Nov 22, 2019

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Chapter 1: The History of Retail

Oldest known form of currency is the barter system that started in the 9000 BC. Cows, animals, and poultry were treated as forms of exchange when currency didn’t exist. Barter system worked really well for a while, but was not sustainable, making it difficult to store wealth.

Similar case with quantifying the value of goods, it was almost impractical until 3000 BC, when Mesopotamia (modern day Iraq) Shakel was introduced, both as a unit of currency and unit of weight.

Fast forward to 800 BC, Agora’s started ancient Greek marketplace where local artisans had their goods and services displayed for sale. For accounting purposes, Chinese abacus ‘Suanpan’ was introduced in 200 BC.

Suanpan was 20 cm long with seven rods with two beads in the upper row and five in the lower. Modern-day multiplication, addition, division, subtraction, square and cube roots have been derived from the Suanpan.

This accounting technique continued until the first cash register was invented by James Ritty, in 1883. James was the owner of the saloon in Dayton, Ohio, USA and wanted a place to store cash to prevent employee theft. In 1878 on a ship back from Europe, Ritty noticed a machine that counted the number of times the ship's propeller completed a revolution, he took that as an inspiration and patented the Ritty Model 1 along with his brother John in 1883.

It was called Ritty’s Incorruptible Cashier.

The original model, however, did not have a cash drawer, it simply recorded the sales noting the amounts for each. James tried manufacturing the cashier and wanted to build cash register’s business but had no luck, he finally sold his register to a group of Ohio investors.

It was John H. Patterson, who eventually turned this into a fortune, forming the National Cash Register Company, today’s NCR, a leader in Point-of-Sale(POS) solutions, which today is valued at $5 billion. Every service department in their company had the slogan We Cannot Afford To Have A Single Dissatisfied Customer, a live testimony of their customer focused culture.

Between 1843 and 1855, gentleman named Rowland Hussey Macy opened four retail dry good stores, all of which have failed. Then he moved to NYC in 1848 and established R.H.Macy & Co on 6th Avenue between 13th and 14th streets. First day sales on Oct 28th, 1858 totaled $11.28. Macy's logo included a star, which comes from a tattoo that Macy got as a teenager, working on a Nantucket whaling ship, the Emily Morgan.

The business grew and they kept expanding with more stores and started attracting customers with Santa Claus themed exhibits and cash savings offers with a money back guarantee. In 1902, the flagship store moved to 34th Herald Square, which eventually occupied the entire block on the seventh avenue at 2.2 million square feet.

As of 2016, it was 115 years old, making the world’s second largest departmental store. Their thanksgiving parade attracted over 10,000 people in 1924.

In 1879, Great Atlantic Pacific Tea company was a grocery only retailer founded by George Huntington Hartford and George Gilman in New York City. The company started as a tea company selling tea by post mail in Lower Manhattan that grew into a big famous brand.

They purchased directly from Chinese plantations, operating 67 stores by 1876. Until 1976, it was the largest retailer of any kind and from 1915-1976, it was the largest food and grocery retailer in the US. It was an American icon, and the Wall Street Journal called it the Walmart before Walmart.

In 1909, Harry Gordon Selfridge, an American, founded a London based departmental store, Selfridges. Their flagship store on Oxford Street. which was toured as London's greatest store. One of the early successes for Selfridges came from their innovating marketing techniques, they made shopping fun and adventurous, and not another boring routine.

He soon realized that shopping was a social experience, and had high-end merchandise displayed for women in an exclusive space so they could safely try them out and indulge with each other. Adding displays of educational and scientific exhibits made the store become a hub for the social and cultural phenomenon. Next twenty years, Selfridges became a retail magnate known as the 'Earl of Oxford'. He is also known to have created the slogan The customer is always right.

Selfridges maintained strong ties with the media and advertisement industry to ensure the megastore opening was widely publicized in newspapers, magazines, and journals. His opening week cartoons were a big hit. One of the aspects, current day retailers could borrow from self-ridges is providing personalization at an individual customer level. The absence of price tags and referring

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