I recently wondered what would replace retail stores now that most are gone or going away.
The new YBUY service (an idea I casually considered several years ago around the time that CompUSA went belly up and others were in deep trouble. is an innovation coming exactly right on time.
Manufacturers, developers and carriers should do all they can (including investing in it) to support YBUY and definately not see it as a threat. If the sustainability numbers are there and the flagship takes wing and flys it could even be a franchisible concept if they can work through the potential issues. The biggest problems will come with customers ignoring policies, abscounding with or damaging units or simply just not paying up. I will be very interested to see how this concept plays out.
One piece of advice to YBUY. Host demos, trainings and focus groups and offer seriously discounted purchases and superior support.
The Shopping Trend:
Back in January an article quotied a Wall Street Journal report stating that Target “dslikes showrooming”, and that they don’t like shoppers visiting their stores, checking out the products and prices and then leaving to order online from somewhere like Amazon at a cheaper price. It went on to say that Target wants suppliers to create special products that are only sold in stores. That is irrational. If you are shopping retail and not checking prices online, you’re throwing away your hard earned money.
There’s also a position I support encouraging local shopping, but in tough financial times informed buyers turn to Amazon to find cheaper prices, better products, save sales tax and get inexpensive shipping.
Considering time spent driving to a store, the gas, the frustration of hunting down safe parking and finally the long wait in senseless lines it makes little sense to shop retail. Retailers must provide strong reasons and advantages to win back shoppers. Fighting smart shopping trend isn’t very smart.
I remenber back in 1992 when I managed several Bay Area computer stores the word on the street was that retail computer sales and computer stores were virtually dead and we had better turn to “outside sales” if we wanted to sustain and remain. We hired new staff to sell directly to businesses and damn anyone who ventured into our storefronts.
Tons of computer stores shuttered and closed their doors with the ones that remained attempting to hold the fort as if nothing was changed. Traditional electronic strores had grand visions of moving beyond just audio and video so players like The Good Guys and others morphed into computer stores until the other shoe fell.
Mainstays like CompUSA and Egghead quickly faded away and a few high-flying players like Fry’s had the game all to themselves. Apple seemed either crazy or prescient when they opened their own stores while Best Buy, Home Depot and Office Depot did their best to be everything to everybiody.
It seems that Jeff Bezos was perhaps the most perceptive of all leading Amazon to the forefront of increasing online sales.
So here we sit in 2012 and the whole arena has changed. What is in store for the future? Carriers have there own stores and you’d be hard pressed to find a source for buying a computer let alone a place to ask questions or get your hands on one.
I wrote my first article under the title “Who says this stuff Wiorks?” over 4 years ago and each year I have zealously updated it with the hope that things would have have improved in the interval.
So here we are at least four whole generations of technolgy later midway into 2012 and my questions and quests remain.
True, our latest systems are faster and our current devices much more powerful but the problems asnd issues we encounter daily are even more complex and diverse. So much so that it seems that no one is working on fixing anything or making anything better, ever. The same problems pile up sky high like Jenga. Till we have no alternative but to throw up our hands and turn to alternatives that themselves are probably just as buggy and full of it.
Where we once only had to be wary of trojans and viriuses or malicious malware, now have to be ever open to a million and one complex social engineering schemes designed to track us, crack our security and render us unable to do anything usefu or just bankrupt us.
Many issues are basic but most are not the result of hackers. Some are the result of extremely poor programming ot inadequate planning or securirty. Thingschange so raspidly that we have not resolved one thing than another whole new thing is introduced. We hear about the benefits of the cloud but I forsee that we have not yet seen all or any of the issues that will meet and greet us then and there.
- Systems stall
- Applications cease
- Devices freeze
- Networks crash
- Upgrades degrade