Retail – Mainstreet to Online
As an owner of several main street retail businesses, I think my grandfather would have been quite at home in the crowd of the many family owned small and regional retail website owners we met at the Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition (IRCE) show last week where we presented a try free before you buy option for the attendees (also available for blog readers).
I’d like to share a quick story about online and main street retail to illustrate Dotcom-Monitor’s approach to the attendees we met with…
I grew up working in my grandfather’s retail stores and whenever I catch a whiff of that “How can I help you?” environment I think of my tall Swedish grandfather and the lessons one learns growing up in retail. I learned one lesson on a fine spring day when I was about 12 years old I was walking back home with my grandfather past our church in our small town Midwestern church when he reached down and picked up a shiny quarter from the sidewalk. That quarter loomed pretty large in my 12 year old brain and I thought the next instant, guided in part by the aura our church within spitting distance, would be one in which he handed the candy-buying quarter over to my sweaty little palms with a smile and a pat on the head. But it was not to be so…right there he pocketed the quarter, winked at me, said “Finders keepers” and continued walking, now with a slight bounce in his step.
Disappointing to a 12 year old looking for a blast of sugar, yes. Instructive, also yes.
The Retail Business is Tough and Every Moment and Every Quarter Counts
That story helps to crystallize an attitude in the retail business (and it’s not denying quarters to 12-years olds)…which is, the retail business is tough and every moment and every quarter counts. Now, to be clear, my grandfather became a millionaire back when that was a lot of money and his vast generosity funded a major portion of my college education and he served as the financial backbone for many other family and community needs and charities. As important as his financial legacy, his attitude about ensuring that the details of his retail businesses were managed and monitored carried over to subsequent generations. Which brings us back, albeit in a bit of a roundabout way, to monitoring and online retail.
As many of the online retailers we spoke with at Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition (IRCE) noted, putting together all of the pieces for a successful online presence is difficult. Many of the online retailers at the show were at IRCE to out-source pieces of their business since it is more effective and cost-effective to do so. In many cases. Dotcom-Monitor’s suite of application monitoring, website monitoring, and other network monitoring tools make it easier for the online retailer s to focus on what they’re best at – serving customers. Dotcom-Monitor’s uptime and performance tools serve at kind of the equivalent to ensuring there isn’t a retail door that sticks or a register that doesn’t work at the old main street retail stores. In fact, one of my jobs at the Ben Franklin store my family owned was to measure candy in bulk on scales and provide it to customers in bags from a bin. Similarly, if websites and web applications don’t work, you might as well close that candy bin door and tell users to go next door. Sometimes the sliding doors on those candy display bins did stick shut….and my grandfather wanted to be alerted fast so he could be up and running to service his customers, because the retail business is tough and every moment and every quarter counts.
Internet Retailer is the #1 source for all web-based retailing in America. Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition (IRCE) was recently named the “Fastest Growing Trade Show in America”.