Related Articles

One Comment

  1. 1

    Justin McCarthy

    Dear Pete
    Utopia is a nice ideal but exceptionally difficult and massively expensive to achieve. Not even South Korean, Japanese, Norwegian or Swedish retailers are achieving anything close to this level of big data monetisation.
    So while the ideal is ideal, let’s contemplate some basic commercial realities in SA:
    1. What quantum of customers are in this “always on mobile engaged” bracket?
    2. Given that small pool, how realistically viable is it for retailers to even contemplate this level of investment in technology, marketing and behavioural step change?
    3. Show me a smartphone under R3,500 let alone R500. And if you answer Blackberry I’ll ask you who develops BB apps any longer?
    4. Show me a shopper who utilizes more than 2 or 3 bespoke mobile apps from a brand of any description, let alone a retail brand. Yes, give me a proper incentive and I’ll consider it but what about the multitude of barriers even if I do have it enabled and active on my smartphone? Is there ubiquitous wireless in the mall/shopping environment, is my Bluetooth enabled, are my security settings high because my credit card got skimmed last month, could I really be bothered to scan my phone for pushed offers when I already have a multitude of notifications that are too numerous to follow actively, is my attention allocated to my handset limited to whether my 9 year old’s football practice got cancelled because of the rain or not and the phone call I’m anticipating from the estate agent? I could bleat on.
    5. Show me a retailer contemplating the above on and I’ll show you a retailer with a non-commercially viable business plan.

    Don’t get me, I’d love to see this transpire but let’s also be realistic – we are a developing market wrestling with gigantic structural socio-economic issues and we simply don’t have the numbers to realise this to even one third of your futuristic scenario. I wish tech-first players would talk more about what we can do TODAY as opposed to what we could one day, following an economic revolution, achieve in the future.

    Do you honestly think that the executives and shareholders in Woolworths, Shoprite, Edcon, Mr Price, Foschini or Massmart would prefer to invest in this level of high risk, low reward return instead of an expansion into Australia, East, West and/or Southern Africa? Go to a shareholders meeting to find out the unequivocal answer to that question. SA needs solutions, not theoretical ideology.

Comments are closed.

Copyright © 2015 - 2019 The Media Online. All rights reserved. Part of Arena Holdings (Pty) Ltd.