Retail stores are closing all across the country. “It’s Amazon! They’re stealing our market!” That’s the refrain. And it’s true, right?
Has America lost its taste to shop locally? And what does that imply for local broadcasters who also compete for the attention of their audiences with platforms not bound by geography?
Here’s a reality check from Forrester Retail Analyst Brendan Witcher:
Consumer confidence is the highest it’s been in over a decade, and leading retailers with solid go-to-market strategies are reporting both growth and expansion. This year, we’ll do about $3.4 trillion in retail in the U.S., and of that, only about $400 billion—about 9%—is online selling. So retail is extremely healthy. It’s just that certain brands are struggling to connect with consumers. About 90% of consumers still want to shop in store, and their primary reason is that they want to touch and feel products. They want to get out of the house. They like to shop with friends. That’s why Amazon is looking to add physical stores—it understands that’s where the big money is. The vast majority of shoppers are still converting in the store environment.
Okay, but if that’s true, then why are so many big, familiar names (J.C. Penney, Sears, Macy’s) struggling?
Here’s the money quote:
It’s because they continue to believe the products they carry are important. It just isn’t true. You can buy a Mr. Coffee machine or a blue t-shirt in hundreds of places. The problem is that if I were to drop you, blindfolded, into many of these larger stores and then turn you loose, you would have no idea where you are—they aren’t differentiated in any way. The retailers that are winning deliver on value but provide unique customer experiences. Amazon knows this, too. That’s why the emphasis has shifted from its products—it has everything—to the experience of shopping with Amazon Prime.
As a local broadcaster, it’s not your address that gives you an advantage it’s what you do with that address that counts. As a local broadcaster, it's not your address that gives you advantage it's what you do with it that counts Click To Tweet
If you’re creating tangible local experiences in the real world that the consumer values, that’s a huge advantage. Folks can reach out and touch everything you do. It’s the difference between listening to a recorded song and watching a live performance in the flesh (and it’s why artists make more money from live shows than from music licensing).
If the content you’re creating on-air (local or otherwise) is utterly unique from what the consumer can get from any other alternative, that’s a big win in the making.
Unique and compelling content and experiences for local audiences.
That should be the tagline of every local broadcaster. On or off the air.
No, not just the tagline: The mission.