A few months ago, we published an article, following Amazon’s announcement of its Whole Foods supermarket chain purchase, and why Amazon wants to enter the physical retail market.

 

In September, the US retail chain Nordstrom announced that they would open a concept store without stock in Los Angeles. Instead of shopping in the store, personal stylists will order goods for the customers. Customers can also buy goods online in the store and pick up their order the same day.

 

The way we shop is constantly changing and owners of small and medium-sized companies are rightly asking themselves; “Where is the retail road going?”

 

Just a shop window?

 

This new concept store without stock from Nordstrom is in a way a variation on what the catalog store Argos has done in the UK for many years.

 

Argos has almost 850 stores where customers enter the store and browse through catalogs with over 1,500 pages of products. When they have chosen their goods, the customers fill in an order form with the item number of the goods, and submit the form to the assistant. The goods are then collected from the warehouse behind the counter and handed over to the customer.

 

A grocery store without cash?

 

In addition to the acquisition of Whole Foods, Amazon this year has also launched its own physical food store, Amazon Go, in Seattle, USA.

 

What distinguishes Amazon Go from other traditional food stores is that the store does not have any cashouts. All you have to do is have an account on Amazon, download the Amazon Go app, go into the store, shop what you need and go home. The app will charge you.

 

Branchless banks?

 

Retail is not the only sector that has embraced new technologies to meet today’s consumer needs. When it comes to financing one’s business and access to loans, one no longer needs to get to the bank, queue up or come in at the agreed time, fill in piles of forms and provide financial documents just to apply.

 

Ferratum Business is a non-affiliate financial institution whose goal is to help SMEs, where the entrepreneur can easily apply for a loan on the internet, without having to fill in any paper. It only takes a few minutes before the applicant receives a decision and the money is then paid into the account within 24 hours.

 

The requirements of today’s customers

The requirements of today

 

Today’s customers are not only looking for the convenience, confidentiality and comfort of managing their business online, but also want to experience satisfaction right away.

 

Today, when shopping on the internet, one can have to wait several days, yes, sometimes weeks to get their goods, while the new Nordstrom concept store, and what Argos has to offer, is to provide an immediate response to the customer’s needs.

 

Now the customers no longer have to wait for the weekend, or rush around the shops during lunch and after work to make their purchases. Customers can shop online when they are at work or on the commuter train and pick up their goods shortly thereafter.

 

So how can these advances in retail affect your small business? What amenities can you offer your customers?