Retail’s Product Problem — Why We Need to Stop Thinking with Our Small P’s

A look at how Amazon, Wayfair, and others are creating a new definition of the word “product” in retail and proving that the size of your “P” does matter.

Spurred by surprisingly popular reader demand, I am excited to compose today’s post, Retail’s Product Problem — Why We Need to Stop Thinking with Our Small P’s. I am also dedicating this to my good friend Jen who inspires me everyday. Hang in there you.

Now I know what many of you are thinking, from the title of the post, even to the video I teased last week and have reposted below — “this could be scandalous and raunchy.”

Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on your perspective, and as much as I love looking back at Kim Cattrall and reminiscing about the groundbreaking show Sex and the City, and all Carrie Bradshaw’s travails, this post has nothing to do with dongs.

Sorry to disappoint.

It does, however, have to do with impotence. Because impotence is exactly from what many retailers will suffer if they don’t start learning how to ride Sendin’s Omnichannel bike (from last week’s post: Are Retail CEOs Destined to Become Murray Hamilton) and start learning to do things differently.

Impotence is a relevant prognosis for many reasons. To start, if you have not attended NRF recently, you should. I went this past January. For the most part, it was the conventional equivalent of a 50-year-old rich, white man going through a mid-life crisis. It was a convention led by the same men I wrote about last week who, to no fault of their own, are evolutionarily programmed (neuroplasticity) to have difficulty dealing with the crisis in front of us. Contrast NRF with ShopTalk, the retail conference that feels like a Ken Jeong improv scene during apex Apatow, and you get an idea where I am placing my bets.

The “p” then to which I so coyly allude in the title of this piece stands for product and not what your dirty minds think. Retail has a major product problem. If left unchecked this problem, will lead to impotence. Impotence in terms of current retailers’ abilities to service their customers’s needs.

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