Google Rules for Retail

In the book What Would Google Do?, Jeff Jarvis outlines ten "Google Rules" that define how Google acts.  These rules help define how Web 2.0 businesses operate today and into the future.  While there's a chapter in the book on applying these rules to the retail industry, it wasn't very in-depth.  So I've decided to more directly apply the rules to retail, along with some notable examples of success.  The table below shows Jeff's Google Rule, some Industry Examples, and New Retailer Rules that I created.

Google Rule

Industry Examples

New Retailer Rule

New Relationship

Your worst customer is your friend; you best customer is your partner

Newegg.com lets manufacturers respond to customer comments that are critical of the product, and their EggXpert site lets customers help other customers.

Listen to what your customers are saying about you.  Convert the critics to fans and the fans to influencers.

New Architecture

Join a network; be a platform

Tesco and BestBuy released APIs for their product catalogs so third-parties could create new applications.

Become a destination for information.

New Publicness

Life is public, so is business

Zappos and WholeFoods founders are prolific tweeters/bloggers, sharing their opinions and connecting to customers.  It's not always pretty, but it's genuine.

Be transparent.  Share both your successes and failures with your customers.

New Society

Elegant organization

Wet Seal helps their customers assemble outfits and show them off to each other.  Barnes & Noble has a community site that includes a bookclub.

Communities of your customers already exist, so help them organize better.

New Economy

Mass market is dead; long live the mass of niches

lululemon found a niche for yoga inspired athletic wear.  Threadless uses crowd-sourcing to design short-runs of T-shirts.

Serve small markets with niche products.

New Business Reality

Decide what business you're in

When Lowes realized catering to women brought the men along, their sales increased.

Customers want experiences to go with the products they buy.

New Attitude

Trust the people and listen

In 2008 Starbucks launched MyStartbucksIdea to solicit ideas from their customers.

Use social networks as additional data points for making better merchandising decisions.

New Ethic

Be honest and transparent; don't be evil

Target is giving away reusable shopping bags for Earth Day.  Kohl's has outfitted 67 stores with solar arrays.

Being green earns customers' respect and lowers costs too.

New Speed

Life is live

H&M and Zara keep up with fashion trends.

Be prepared to pounce on you customers' fickle interests.

New Imperatives

Encourage, enable and protect innovation

1-800-Flowers was the first do sales in Facebook and an early adopter of mobile commerce.  The Sears Personal Shopper mobile app finds products based on a photo.

Give your staff permission to fail so innovation won't be stifled.


Jeff will be a keynote speaker at Crosstalk, our upcoming annual user conference, so I'm looking forward to hearing more of his perspective on retail and the new economy.

Comments:

Great post, David! Thanks.

Posted by Di Schuler on April 26, 2010 at 03:40 AM CDT #

Post a Comment:
  • HTML Syntax: NOT allowed
About


David Dorf, Sr Director Technology Strategy for Oracle Retail, shares news and ideas about the retail industry with a focus on innovation and emerging technologies.


Industry Connect


Stay Connected
Blogroll

Search

Archives
« April 2014
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
  
1
2
3
4
5
6
8
9
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
   
       
Today