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MOMS and POPS: Part 1-A strategy for competing with big e-commerce competitors

We have all experienced the benefits brought by e-commerce solutions. A personalized shopping experience combined with rapid delivery has raised the stakes for retailers. Consumer spending is consolidating into a few major players, with Amazon now accounting for approximately 40 percent of U.S. e-commerce gross merchandise volume according to Bernstein Research. Target and Walmart, while traditional retail chains, have invested heavily in their online presence, while Wayfair, Shopify and are among the online retailers reporting rising sales.

This retail transformation has created pressure on local, regional, and specialty retailers who must choose to address declining in-store sales by implementing expensive custom e-commerce solutions or joining partner programs sponsored by the major online retailers. Each option has significant cost implications, including software licensing and partner program fees. Most importantly, these strategies distance the retailer from their customer. For the local or specialty retailer, a personalized customer experience and service is often the major factor in the purchasing decision. Addressing this challenge is necessary for the long-term success of these businesses.

“Mom-and-pop” is a term used to describe a small, family-owned, or independent business. For that reason, it seems to be an appropriate name for the strategy for this group. The MOMS and POPS approach consists of:

MOMS, or Micro On-line Marketplaces, are shared commerce sites that enable retailers to lease a digital storefront that provides out-of-the-box marketing, inventory, purchasing and fulfilment capabilities. This storefront-as-a-service enables rapid entry, seasonal and peak capacity scaling, and custom feature bundling that maximize the retailer’s digital commerce investment.

POPS, or Point Of Presence Shopping, consists of software tools that embed the retailer presence in the consumer’s daily experience. These could include mobile devices, kiosks, and distribution partners websites. These presences may be permanent or temporary (e.g., special events or conventions).

There are all-in-one infrastructure solution providers in this space, such as WooCommerce and BigCommerce. However, these solutions often result in retailers losing control to site development consultants or becoming locked into template solutions.

The next article, “Part 2: Selecting an E-commerce Partner for implementing your MOMS and POPS strategy”, will review options available for your digital transformation.

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