Ecommerce New Zealand is a new online retail body set up to help SMEs grow revenue from ecommerce. Cate sits down to answer some of NZRetail’s most pressing questions.
Is a retailer doomed if they don’t have an online store?
Retailers aren’t doomed if they don’t have an online store, they’re just missing out on being in the consideration set for shoppers. In the same vein, having an online store won’t save you in itself.
Online is a channel for your offering. If you’re offering isn’t sufficiently competitive, then you are doomed.
Should Kiwi retailers be thinking about selling to a global market from the get-go?
You can only sell internationally with non-commoditised, truly differentiated product. You need a viable business base to take on that risk. You also need to be prepared to partner and outsource. The global opportunity for New Zealand businesses is as much about services as it is about products.
What do established retailers need to be thinking about to stay competitive with the smaller disruptors?
Large retailers have an immense advantage in established brands, frontline staff and store footprint. However, it is difficult to achieve the innovation and agility of a startup with legacy systems and business processes. Retailers who invest in people and systems can become not just match fit for e-commerce, but use their scale to get online innovation out to the wider market. It’s important for senior executives and board members to understand digital, as the most effective change is led from the top down.
This story was originally published in NZRetail magazine issue 736, March 2015.