This month we hit the road with surveys and sought information from influential leaders in the retail space. Our findings may shock or interest you, depending on your position in the retail experience. Do you think shopping centre’s will cease to exist in the future like Tobias Lütke does? Will you violently remove your mailbox in anticipation of a ‘parcel’ box? Please leave your comments below!

Who’s Who in the Retail Zoo?

There are a lot of ecommerce thought leaders out there. One of them is Brian Walker, formerly from Forrester Research who claims that small businesses need to start thinking in terms of omni-directional commerce, where there are many touch points between themselves and their customers and should plan to make contact over a variety of means. Mobiles, tablets, desktop computers, physical presence, you name it. Small businesses needs to consider that their customers are able to discover and interact with them over a variety of mediums. This is also confirmed by the founder of Shopify Tobias Lütke, where in an interview with Jason Calacanis they proposed that the future of retail involves mobiles, websites, accounting platforms and POS systems are all interconnected on single platforms. Tobias also claimed that the shopping centre is an outdated concept from the 1800’s, way back before the worlds distribution systems became so evolved. He believes shopping centres simply solved a distribution issue where it could physically display a product in front of a consumer so they could make a purchase. With the evolution of a global freight and same-day deliveries (3 hours in Sydney!) the very nature of retail shopping is changing.

What About the Local Small Business?

When we asked 200 people there thoughts on shopping locally we were surprised by the results.

  • 82.5% are proud of the community they live in
  • 81% consider themselves a local of their community
  • 76% would try to buy local most of the time
  • 13.5% ONLY buy local
  • 58% would buy local if it took extra effort
  • 40.5% would buy local if it cost more
  • 80.5% feel proud when buying locally
  • 90% agree that buying local would benefit their local community economy
  • 81.5% would promote #shoplocal to their friends

The main findings are that small businesses must remain competitively priced with online retailers, otherwise the majority of people would just shop online. The other key takeaway is that people feel proud of buying from their local small businesses and believe it strengthens the local economy. [pie_chart percent=”90″ barcolor=”#81d742″ trackcolor=”#f2f2f2″ line_width=”3″ size=”80%” font_size=”12″ bar_animate=”2000″ animation_delay=”0″ animate=”” ]90% agree that buying local would benefit their local community economy[/pie_chart]

Small Businesses Help Build Community Places

According to Nicholas Takacs from A Beautiful City, the story Paddy Troy Lane in Fremantle, Western Australia sheds light on why it’s so important that the walkability of our community is increased.
  • This makes us more competitive – because more track is accessed by more people thus, effectively, keeping them away from other districts.
  • It’s better for our community – because people access more places, resources and people.
  • It’s good for our economy – because inferior places become superior and can support more independent businesses.

The Answer

Beautiful retail experiences! 

We will be updating this post with our findings of what global thought leaders and our readers are proposing to be the future of commerce. More importantly, we will be highlighting the lessons learnt so small business owners can start taking the right actions now in preparation for this ever-changing space. Please comment below to be part of this ongoing dialogue. Thank you! Inside Tradr


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  1. Trent

    You know your definition of local also matters, it might not be the shop around the corner.

    I’ll give you an example, I was buying some lights for my camper trailer recently. I had the option of buying from the US for a couple of dollars cheaper after the freight and a Brisbane based company. I decided to go for the Brisbane based company, because much like your survey respondents I am happy to pay a little bit more to a local company.

    To my surprise after the purchase I got a phone call from a very helpful lady who ran the online store. She explained that I had ordered the wrong connectors to go with my lights. She subsequently sent the ones that I actually needed.

    My point is this, if I hadn’t bought local and got local service, it would have cost me double the price that I actually did.

    Congrats to the Tradr team for breaking the mould and supporting local businesses.