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The future of global retail will be local.

This headline naturally caught my eye in the Financial Times last week and inspired my thinking today. In the piece, John Thornhill, Innovation Editor, highlighted some of the key factors for retail success and how things are changing at a rapid pace.

John points out that in the early nineties, retail success was connected directly to store location. Brands like HUGO BOSS and Nike either had their own bricks and mortar outlets or had concessions in department stores. Success really was as simple as being in the right location.

When the internet arrived, that model was decimated. Customers expected deliveries direct to their doors, so retail success became all about logistics. Online marketplaces like Amazon looked like they would clean up.

The next evolution came as brands like Allbirds decided they could cut out the middleman and go ‘direct to customers’ (DTC). This increased profit and meant they owned the customer. The perfect solution, right?

Maybe not. In the last 12 months the economic situation, supply chain issues, increasing overheads (including digital marketing costs), Apple’s privacy rules and a ‘cost of living crisis’ have dealt DTC a huge blow. Reality has bitten and these firms are finding it tough.

So, what’s next? What will give retail the ultimate edge? According to John it’s all about going local. Great minds think alike! We Are Acuity have talked previously about ‘levelling-up’ local retail by improving its ‘digital maturity’ especially in relation to marketing. We feel giving access and training with the resources and technologies employed by big online retailers is a crucial step.

So, we were delighted to read about the Open Network For Digital Commerce (ONDC) ONDC Official experiment in 100 Indian cities that aims to connect 30 million local sellers with 300 million local shoppers by the end of 2024. The plan is to “democratise" digital commerce, moving it away from platform-centric models like Sell on Amazon and Flipkart to an open network.

They say: ‘ONDC may enable more sellers to be digitally visible. The transactions will be executed through an open network. According to people in the know, the system may empower merchants and consumers by breaking the silos that exist today. It will eventually touch every business, from retail goods and food to mobility.

A consumer searching for the product can see the location of the seller and opt to buy from the neighbourhood shop that can deliver faster compared to an e-commerce company. This may promote hyperlocal delivery of goods such as groceries, directly from sellers to consumers.’

Thanks John. The next retail evolution has started, whatever sector you are in local matters. If you’d like to get ahead of the pack and join the local conversation, get in touch. Your local partners, whether branches, retailers, dealers, franchisees, or affiliates they need your support and you need theirs, get in touch with We Are Acuity today for a FREE marketing audit by clicking HERE.

Or if you'd like to read more about Local Marketing have a look at our blog page "Local Thinking': https://www.weareacuity.com/local-thinking-our-blog

#marketing #digital #retail #localbusiness

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