Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon, thinks the future of retailing might include drones flying to your home and delivering a package within 30 minutes of an order being placed.
Amazon already has the drones. Bezos demonstrated them in a 60 Minutes interview on CBS last Sunday. The so-called “octocopters” can carry up to a five pound package, fly to someone’s home using GPS, land the package, and return to the warehouse. The early models have a 10-mile range. Amazon is trying for FAA approval in a few years.
Amazon is also on a building binge with warehouses (96 and growing), is making huge investments in technology, and is offering same-day delivery in test markets with more planned. They’re also hosting data for the CIA.
The company claims to have 255 million customers at present, a number that certainly gets the attention of traditional retailers. The share of sales being made on-line also continues to grow worldwide, and that also gets the attention of retailers.
When asked about the disruption to traditional retailers from Amazon, Bezos was straightforward, “You gotta earn your keep in this world. When you invent something new, if customers come to the party, it’s disruptive to the old way.”
He also noted “The Internet is disrupting every media industry … people can complain about that, but complaining is not a strategy. And Amazon is not happening to book selling, the future is happening to book selling.”
The future is also happening to the bike industry but a little Continue reading
A small but resolute group of bicycle industry leaders stormed Capitol Hill Wednesday to make the case for the bicycle business as a creator of jobs and commerce that benefits the U.S. economy.
The inaugural CEO Fly-In is a new initiative from the PeopleForBikes Business Network (peopleforbikes.org). It focuses on the business benefits of cycling, and the importance of bicycle infrastructure to business. Wednesday’s event brought bicycle company CEOs and business leaders to meet with targeted members of Congress and key staff to lay the foundation for improved support for cycling.
This was the first ever CEO Fly-In from PeopleForBikes, with similar efforts planned for twice each year. Current federal transportation legislation is due to expire in late 2014 so the timing is good. The new legislation could cover as much as six years, Continue reading
It is outrageous that the federal government continues to give the middle finger to brick-and-mortar businesses across the country by failing to fix a broken sales tax system.
It’s time for the House of Representatives to take a deep breath, put down the poison darts, and get to work on this issue.
It’s possible that our elected representatives may just be tired and/or stressed out. After all, they have been busy with various tantrums, government shutdowns, bad health care websites and general ill will.
But this does not excuse the fact that brick-and-mortar businesses are being openly discriminated against with bad laws that can only be fixed by the adoption of good ones. This is not a big government versus small government issue. This is about Continue reading
Many believe that buying from local independent businesses is a good thing, but is there credible research to back that up?
Yes, and one of the latest is from research firm Civic Economics. The company’s researchers took an in-depth look at the Salt Lake City retail marketplace. They found that a group of locally-owned stores generated almost four times as much economic impact than the average chain store.
Civic Economics analyzed hard data from 22 independent retailers and restaurants, and compared their impact with four chain retail stores Continue reading
A British market study shows that retail staff members are the key to making customers feel comfortable while shopping, and also cause them to buy and spend more.
Service Management Group collected opinions, views, and purchasing behavior from 359,000 consumers in the UK. The findings provide broad insight into consumer priorities and expectations, and seem to mirror the many trends being reported by bicycle retailers in the U.S. market.
- Customers who receive assistance in a store, on average, spend up to 40 per cent more than those who are not helped by staff.
- For highly-satisfied consumers, assistance (43%) and friendliness (32%) were cited as the most important factors in their satisfaction, followed by item availability (14%) and speed of service (13%).
By James Moore, Moore’s Bicycle Shop, Hattiesburg, Mississippi
When I opened my bike shop in 1984 an eight-year-old boy by the name of Greg became a daily visitor. Greg lived in the trailer park next to my shop and sometimes had to be chased out so I could wait on customers or meet the day’s repair deadlines.
One day Greg came in as I was visiting with a friend and I thought I’d have a little fun. I told Greg that it appeared that his nose was loose and that if he’d let me I’d tighten it up a bit.
As Greg approached my work bench I reached for my ratchet with a 13 millimeter socket and placed it on his nose and made a few clockwise revolutions with the tool. When I removed the tool I noticed a round grease mark on Greg’s nose. My friend and I chuckled Continue reading
Sometimes the Internet seems like a vast global Complaint Department and bike shops receive plenty of bashing for real or perceived failings.
There is another side to the story though. There is great retailing out there and the best bike shops are creating happy and satisfied customers every day. This represents a powerful counterpoint to tales of disappointment and woe from your nearby www.
The NBDA sent mystery shoppers to 256 independent bike shops nationwide to report on their experiences as customers. The stores were unquestionably better-than-average Continue reading