3 Ways New Retail Innovations Are Beating Incumbents... Even Amazon

3 Ways New Retail Innovations Are Beating Incumbents... Even Amazon

by Bob Mott

Amazon sells 562 million products, and constantly adds to their collection — a collection whose sales make up 44% of the total e-commerce market in the US. As substantial of a market as Amazon has captured, there’s still plenty of room for other retail innovations.

A hundred years ago, the local cobbler made your shoes, the seamstress down the street tailored your clothes, and you ate food from a local farm. Some creative companies have reverted back to that, achieving this brand connection by leveraging technology and capitalizing on the speed of the global supply chain. In the food industry it’s been #FarmToTable. At Adelante, we call this #CobblerToCustomer.

Here are three examples of companies that are doing things differently and are poised to uproot traditional behemoths like Amazon.

1) High Quality at Half the Price

The razor industry has historically been dominated by Gillette, filling up the shelves of every type of retail brick and mortar store with expensive razors around the United States. Harry’s, founded in 2013, started off not only selling direct-to-consumer, but also with a vertically integrated production model. This enabled them to produce a razor of similar quality, selling for a fraction of the price of Gillette razors. Through end to end control of their business, they reach the final customer in an experiential way without the burden of a middleman. Gillette has seen their market share decrease from 71% to only 59% and have recently had to lower their prices to compete with both Dollar Shave Club and Harry’s.

2) Sourcing and Transparency:

Since its launch in 2010, Everlane has toted transparency in its production, whether by revealing the specific cost of an item, or providing an inside look into their factories. The graph below shows just how disruptive cutting out traditional retail markup can be. Everlane passes along these savings to their customers, keeping them informed of price -- even lowering the price of their cashmere sweaters last year when the commodity price went down.

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Source: Everlane

3) Artisan Connection and Speed:

Soko is an ethical fashion brand based out of San Francisco that has disrupted traditional international jewelry supply chains through mobile technology in Kenya, essentially creating a virtual factory via small independent workshops. This innovation enables larger purchase orders, shorter lead times, and substantially higher wages for their artisans. Customers are consistently reminded of the stories from Soko's artisans, handcrafting beautiful products thousands of miles away.

Amazon is not going anywhere, but consumers are evolving. Millennials demand more transparency, better value for high quality products, and peace of mind knowing that their purchase goes towards making the world a better place. Customers want to go back to the basics of having a cobbler down the street, and the farmer up the road. They want to understand where their money goes.

Adelante’s value proposition is built upon these same principles. How can we change the way people shop for high quality leather shoes, connecting them along the way with their craftsmen, and turn around a pair of made-to-order shoes in 10 business days? We work with world class tanneries like Lefarc, sustainably sourcing the highest quality leather. Our Goodyear welted shoes are on par with a $450 pair of handmade shoes at half the price.

And the best part, we connect you with the person who makes your shoes in an incredible post-purchase journey. So go check out our styles and meet your craftsman, you won’t be disappointed.

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