The internet marches inexorably on with a spec for a new HTTP version this week, the advent of HTTP 2 allowed browsers to multiplex downloads decreasing load speeds among other fancy things. Although a surprisingly large amount of the internet is still back on HTTP 1.1…The new spec makes some interesting revisions, scraping TCP for UDP which on the face of it seems daft given its none guaranteed delivery etc. However it adds this back in with a clever protocol called QUIC that allows HTTP 3 to skip some of the overhead of TCP, find out more here: https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2018/11/the-next-version-of-http-wont-be-using-tcp/
Why does retail matter?
A sector close to my heart is retail, specifically cosmetics, the high street and fashion. While most people think about queues, having to give your email address and general lack of stock, I think of the brilliant teams I’ve worked with, the exceptionally commercial minded managers, and the talented sales people I have worked beside. The latest Gartner research into Digital IQ Index: Specialty Retail lists MissGuided and New Look as experts in search volume over the past year.
This is an interesting outcome, MissGuided is an online offering whereas New Look has brick and mortar stores nationwide. Can the high street be dead if retailers are making the digital effort to narrow the disparity of online and offline retailers? Is there an area for concern about digital focus? It appears to be focused on instantaneous purchases that customers may have buyer’s remorse about. Is there a spend bias by retail behemoths on digital channels? From the outside at least, it seems that there is huge investment in digital channels for marketing, advertising and PR activities. While this is a great use of the digital aspect of the mix, I can’t help but think that retailers ignore the fundamental need of their cosmetic and fashion consumers – to try on products for suitability.
The technology is not there yet that provides all customers with the ability to digitally see how make up or clothes looks on them, without having to physically try it on. This leads me to believe there is a gap that retailers have overlooked. Their digital channels, influencers and advertising efforts can do so much more to encourage consumers and delight prospects. Rather than a buy now CTA encouraging the discovery of the talented brand representatives and artists in store can add, enhance and create value for individual customers and the overall brand experience.
These retail sites provide one click purchases, recently searched for product carousels and shopping baskets with push email notifications are great resources and keep the customer’s front of mind searches of your branded products at their fingertips. Imagine if New Look used their technology to engage people to the point they want to go to their stores? How would the brand use new technologies while their customers are in store? Would there be a more cohesive shopping experience? One that does not revolve around a CRM KPI focus that irritates shoppers at the till. Letting customers log in when already in store rather than using their phone battery. What additional services could they offer to their target customers to make their lives easier? – charging ports for their phones, screens that allow customers to check stock in store and not have to ask anyone, personal shopper book in appointments for loyalty programme members.
It would be great to see these leading digital performers balance their digital customer journeys and purchase pathways so that there is an equilibrium offline, and in store. It’s not a surprise in the decline of instore footfall traffic, if there isn’t the same investment or innovations being brought to stores that is reflected on websites there will continue to be a disconnect between purchasing on the high street and purchasing online. For retailers to remain relevant and matter to people innovations across online and offline is the best place to start.
It seems recently for these weekly blog posts I love a good graph so here’s another one detailing the most visited websites on the internet. Trusty StackOverflow coming in at a very respectable 53.
These two guys practicing their lion dance without the costume is both impressive and hilarious.
What are the odds?
Settled down to the FA Cup draw last Monday evening; I had two clubs of interest, Bury F.C (ball 40) [https://www.buryfc.co.uk/] and Guiseley A.F.C. (ball 33) [https://guiseleyafc.co.uk/].
1st ball out – 33 – Guiseley! Surely the next ball is not 40 …. Nope it’s Fleetwood Town. Oh well. 3rd ball out 40 – Bury! And the next ball Luton Town. OK – so it wasn’t the first 2 balls out but 2 of the first 3 out of 40 were of interest.
Now – seriously, can someone ‘do the math’ on that and tell me the odds. So, I think (but wait to be corrected) – it starts 1/40 for the first ball, then 1/38 for the third ball. So combined odds 1/40×38 = 1/1520.
Should’ve put a tenner on that then.
Is that correct? Answers on a postcard please.