In this series of blogs, we will explore the experience economy as it relates to the farm retail sector.
The above quote was recently made by a Danish politician, I doubt that anyone would argue with it.
In this series of blogs I will help debate the predictions as far as farm retailing is concerned. We all know it is changing and we all know we have to make changes to remain profitable, even if we cannot predict our political future.
Retailing is definitely changing, this was a prediction of mine at a FARMA conference five years ago where I mentioned retailing would change more between 2015 and 2020 than in our lifetime. So where are we, and where are you on this journey? Retailing is changing because of the Millennial consumer who now makes up 25% of European shoppers and are early adopters of change. They expect you to change to meet their needs In the world today there are three retail economies and you need to fit into one of them as perceived by the consumer.
I want to order it from home and I want it delivered to my home, NOW. This is what we know as the online retail world and it has grown immensely over the last few years. It is dominated by Amazon, although there are other suppliers and “Home delivered meals” have seen a huge growth in our market sector. Amazon have had their challenges, they went into partnership with Hallmark in the USA to deliver live Christmas trees for Christmas 2018 but got it wrong and the present personal problems of Jeff Bezos will be played out in public and may cause a hiccup this year.
I want it as cheaply as possible, is the next economy where the price has been the leader in the purchasing decision. This market has been grown by Aldi and Lidl who now control this sector, especially in the food sector In Australia Aldi arrived in my part of the world three years ago and now is recognised as the most trusted brand in Australia.
I want to have an experience when I go shopping. This, for me, is the most exciting retail economy and the one that farm retailers should own. Farm retailers have a huge opportunity to OWN this retail sector. I enjoy working with farm retailers who understand what market place they are in and get frustrated when I visit farm retailers who think it is still about the product.
Bunbury Farmers market in the SW of Australia in the City of Bunbury is the top tourist attraction in the city.
Not all retailers understand the market they are in or are not changing as quickly as the consumer is demanding. A walk down many High Streets will show this decline, whilst a walk down the High Street of Frome in Somerset is an experience.
Farm retailers have to develop unique experiences for the consumer and many around the world have an exciting future because they are playing by the new rules.
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John Stanley is a retail consultant specialising in the farm retail sector. Based in West Australia, he is a sweet chestnut and pig farmer as well as consultant and conference speaker with clients in 35 countries. He is the author of several books in this subject, including the book 'Food Tourism... A Practical Marketing Guide'