Where do consumers currently look for non food products?
For my research I looked at who the main competitors would be. One of the main ideas behind the website is convenience and the fact consumers would be able to track down and collect, reserve or purchase items they need immediately or very quickly so this was an area I looked at in my research looking for companies which offer a similar service.
Consumers do not always have spare time to be searching stores whether physically walking round or searching online especially when they need items quickly so convenience is a huge factor. Consumers are now coming to expect click and collect or free of charge next day delivery as normal from major high street retailers with more smaller companies recognising the fact consumers are wanting goods quickly and offering similar delivery options possibly at an extra cost.
Although American and not a UK study a recent US survey by Temado found that “80% of consumers want same-day shipping, with 61% wanting their items event faster – 1-3 hours of placing an order”. Although same day delivery is not always practical to implement this suggests how the market is changing and how retailers will need to adapt to find ways to meet consumer demand.
With this is mind the fact consumers are able to find the items or products they are looking for locally via this website and could collect immediately or asap could be seen as a USP a unique selling point of this website and the retailers advertising their products via the website.
Google are already looking at ways to incorporate ‘local’ into our shopping experience on their search engine. Launched in 2014 it is still new and a with a limited number of stores with inventory an product availability listings the full picture of local products available to consumers is incomplete and limited. With Google’s already huge user this is a large platform for local stores to connect with potential customers. It offers retailers a Merchant Centre, Shopping Campaigns, Local Inventory Ads and Google Customer Reviews and users the option to search and select local products only.
Screen shots of product search via ‘Google Shopping’ selecting local
Although my project has similarities to Google’s local product search this project looks to work with retailers demonstrating, training and helping them create an online presence and store. With Google’s solution it could be more difficult for smaller stores with possibly a limited knowledge of technologies to sell via Google shopping and may put off smaller retailers from selling via their platform.
Amazon is a major player in the online retail world and a big competitor to local retail sales. In 2017 we are seeing their Amazon Prime a standard next day delivery service offered by Amazon being upgraded with Amazon now offering a ultra-fast 1-hour or 2-hour delivery service called ‘Prime Now‘ depending on your location. This service is new and is currently only offered in some major cites so it not an option for all areas especially more remote and rural areas.
In a report by Mintel Group Ltd when consumers where asked where they shopped in the last 12 months the majority did state Amazon (see below).
Convenience and speed – It is all about convenience and speed – the new Amazon Prime Now service will deliver within 1 or 2 hours in a selected delivery window depending on your location. So no consumers are excluded when the service is not offered in their area consumers are able to enter their email so they are notified when it is, this is all away of attracting consumers and encouraging them to shop via Amazon:
Amazon also offer the Amazon Dash which based on convenience and easy access and reordering for the consumer –
These are examples of Amazon Dash buttons, they just need to be setup via an Amazon account and connected to wifi then when that product is running low the customer can use 1-click ordering by pressing the button on the Amazon Dash. The Dash buttons can be secured to devices such as a washing machine so reordering is easy and accessible when needed to make the consumers life easier and reordering more accessible and quick.
Fast Track delivery service – some items are available with same day delivery – they also offer a click and collect service so consumers have the convenience of ordering online knowing the product is in stock and visiting their local store to collect it.
Argos Fast Track
Major high street supermarkets – Tesco, Asda, Waitrose, Sainsbury’s, Iceland and Ocado
Although mainly for groceries the major high street supermarkets are beginning to offer same day deliveries or are trialling same day delivery service but not for all areas. The click and collect option for grocery shopping is a popular service with same day collection; Tesco’s have reported having seen a 20% increase in this service in the past year. Sainsbury’s are trialling a same-day delivery service in the south of the country, July 2016.
Urban Based Smaller Retailers
Some urban based retailers are also beginning to now offer same day delivery and 1/2/3 deliveries depending on the consumers location – this is mainly seen in London and some of the larger cities where there is a larger consumer base and delivery distance less.
With all these competitors listed above consumers have to firstly search for and purchase or reserve the item they want online, so an online presence is essential for the retailer and in turn essential for the smaller rural retailers if they are looking to compete in the future for sales. At the moment there is no or very limited online offering for smaller or more specialised rural retailers to offer similar services and compete in the online retail world. This website would give rural retailers without an online presence a shop front to the world allowing them to compete in a highly competitive market place.
With the new 1-hour and 2-hour Amazon Prime delivery service evolving with more and more locations being added worldwide interestingly the Mintel Group Ltd reported Amazon shoppers have been declining from 2014 from 2016. This is possibly due to consumers purchasing locally or the wider variety of websites becoming available offering different consumer experiences, service and more convenience.
With high street and online stores starting to take more notice of their customers wanting faster deliveries they are developing and creating new ways of delivering these services. Now is an ideal time for the the creation of this app so local smaller retailers do not loose out on sales and rural economies survive. My research suggests that it is a consumers market if consumers can’t get the service or item they are looking for they will look elsewhere especially if they require it urgently the idea behind this website is to give them a local option mainly in rural areas to begin with and therefore boost these local economies. With Google and other retailers already looking at similar projects built around a consumers locality and local retail this proves how the larger companies are taking notice and looking to build and incorporate this into their future technologies and systems.