You may have convinced yourself that you have plenty of time to study that pesky upstart competitor who gets a lot of attention, but has yet to make much money. Or maybe you tell yourself that they can never scale.
Just as Sears believed about Walmart and Target in the 80’s. And Home Depot and Lowe’s in the 90’s.
Just as Blockbuster did with Netflix, Redbox and multiple video on demand services. [Quick aside: if your core value proposition can be completely replicated by a substitute that can be delivered digitally, you might want to jump on that yourself.]
Or maybe you are taking a “deliberate” approach to formulating your social and mobile strategies.
Or maybe you still hold on to that believe that operating your brick & mortar and direct-to-consumer channels largely independently is a good idea.
Of course not every new competitor is going to steal your most valuable customers. Of course not every Web 2.0 concept is worth investing in. Of course you should not invest blindly in pursuit of a “seamless multi-channel experience.”
But in case you haven’t noticed, upstart competitors have been kicking the stuffings out of traditional players in the retail arena for decades.
The pace of change is accelerating. More and more power is shifting to the consumer, many of whom will be carrying around a staggeringly powerful tablet device in the very near future.
So maybe you work for that lucky company that can coast their way through the seismic shifts in how people shop.
But don’t kid yourself, for most of you it’s later than you think.
Don’t let it be too late.