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Opportunities from online competition

‘Competing Successfully With Online Stores’, featuring NZ retailing expert Chris Wilkinson as lead speaker and a high calibre panel of retailers and suppliers, is one session which should pack them in during the PMA Digital Conference.

The panel features innovative independent specialist Phil Gresham (Fotofast, Brisbane), Phil Hugron from Canadian online photo specialist retailing software developer, Dakis; Ted’s Cameras boss Nic Peasley, and industry doyen John Swainston, Maxwell International. Each panellist will have something fresh to offer, as they are all seeing the market from different perspectives.

‘The presentation was originally developed in response to a growing issue our clients in the fashion industry have been hit with,’ explained Chris Wilkinson (pictured right) .

His company, First Retail, works with a wide range of organisations and channels in the retail and service sectors throughout Australasia, UK, USA and the South Pacific.

He said the fashion industry has a lot of parallels to photo retailing when it comes to online competition, in that clothing is easy and inexpensive to ship and tends to carry a higher price in Australian stores.

‘Showrooming’ is the order of the day. (See separate story.)

‘The blatant photographing of labels after trying product on is even more evident than with cameras or photo products,’ said Mr Wilkinson. ‘We think we’ve got troubles!’

My presentation aggregates stats then looks at ‘tipping points’ which retailers need to be aware of. Everyone knows about the web transition, but this puts the most relevant information together, specific to our industry.

‘We then look at how savvy online retailers ARE managing to replicate some of the experiences bricks-and-mortar felt were theirs alone. What points of difference are left?

‘Finally we look at strategies photo shops can use to maintain relevance and claw sales back.’

The format will be dynamic, with the panel encouraged to share their varied perspectives through the session. (Though knowing this panel, they won’t need too much encouragement!)

The session takes place on Thursday evening, 5-6pm.


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