Tick Tock! The Demand for Convenience Tolls for Thee, Retailer
Greetings. It’s been awhile. I know.
Sometimes you just have to wonder out loud through. Or, at least, sometimes I have to. And my “out loud” is through this blog. So, whoosh. I’m wondering.
Here’s my wonderment, stated for you.
And by “you,” I’m looking at you Venture Capitalists. You too, retailers.
We have GrubHub, DoorDash and their clever clones. I am particularly bemused by the ones that offer to bring meals from Cheesecake Factory and Applebee’s. In Manhattan. Impressive. Sort of.
We have Jet.com and Max delivery and FreshDirect.com and on and on. The arc of the market bending ever more toward convenience.
As of this morning’s paper we have GymGuyz (a gym on wheels to come to your home). We have Heal, DispatchHealth, MedZed, Dose Healthcare and Pager to send a doctor or medical pro to your home or office. There’s Amazon’s PillPack to get the meds there.
How long is it going to take for chain retail to get up to code? Why does my friend Serra need to order three sizes of every item of apparel she wants, wait three days and then return the two that don’t fit via Fed-Ex? Does that sound like convenience? What does that do to her sense of urgency and their balance sheets?
Why don’t her various favorite shops just bring her daughter-sized shirt, her husband-sized jeans and her preferred sleepwear to her right now? This afternoon? And be done with it?
When does my neighborhood Williams Sonoma stop promising to ship the raclette maker or Christmas Crackers or Easter candles to me from the store or shipment center, rather than running it over 10 blocks? Well, we know why, right?
Which leads me to you, tech-savvy entrepreneurs. The big watchword was once “disintermediation,” and now it is “reintermediation.” Insinuate a slew of modestly more upscale GrubHubesque delivery folk and brand them. Invite me to come to you to get same day delivery of stuff I wear or need for my daughter’s room before she arrives back on Spring break.
Tick-Tock. Convenience beckons.