There was a time when it seemed Toys R Us and Blockbuster would only keep growing. But innovative disruptors like Uber have swept in and squeezed out their seemingly infallible competition.
In September 2017, Toys R Us made headlines when it reported it could seek bankruptcy protection to manage its crushing debt in the wake of competing with stores like Amazon. Meanwhile, Blockbuster closed almost all of its stores except a handful of locations in remote areas like Alaska, as Netflix becomes the new normal for household media viewing.
What is it about industry disruptors that separate them from the big-name corporations that have buckled and closed their doors?
Obsession with Updating Products & Services
Amazon isn’t exactly known for sitting idling by and only updating its store pages when new products arrive. Instead, they are continuously updating. Amazon rolled out eBay-like services including Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA), on-demand T-shirt printing with Merch by Amazon and an Etsy-like business with Handmade by Amazon.
Amazon goes deeper than just offering great products and services. They use their data to help predict what shoppers will add to their carts based on what they bought, and show them relevant options. Amazon also suggests upgrades to a convenient subscription for everything from toothpaste to household supplies. Companies and corporations can emulate Amazon’s success by leveraging their analytics and helping their customers find the best products, or upgrade their order.
Using a tool like Content Analytics can help your company manage your products. They offer a single site-wide point of management for all supplier pages and can quickly pinpoint and fix areas that need attention and improvement. There is also a feature to upload and update your content from a single interface and optimize your content.
Always Focusing on Rapid Innovation
All companies who outlast their competition are in constant innovation mode. But there’s a difference between innovating to adapt and rapidly innovating to disrupt your industry. Remember MySpace and Friendster? Facebook crushed its predecessors and continues to go beyond staying relevant and going deep into innovation.
Facebook introduced a shopping marketplace, messaging ads, new algorithms and streaming video to give its audience a more comprehensive experience. Even their laser-targeted advertising opportunities give them a highly personalized experience.
Companies can gather inspiration from the Facebooks of the world by figuring out how to blend what customers want and improving upon it for an innovative approach to personalization. If you run a landscaping business for busy professionals, for example, you can also test a service where you set up and break down outdoor dinner parties or create an outdoor oasis for an innovative entertainment area.
Increasing Personalized, On-demand Services
Uber disrupted the taxi industry when it started offering on-demand ride-sharing options to the public. Instead of just calling ahead for a taxi or renting an hourly Zipcar, drivers can turn their own cars into a small business and offer an on-demand experience to riders.
Amazon also followed suit by offering Amazon Flex and Amazon Fresh for on-demand service. Shoppers can get their goods within an hour instead of heading out to the store themselves or waiting for a two-day Prime delivery option. Smaller companies may not be able to compete with the same volume of products for delivery, but can still focus on a tightly focused niche of on-demand and personalized service whether mail order wardrobe options to try on or customized vegan dinner delivery.