Power Retail Podcast: Can We Predict the Future of Retail?

Ally Feiam By Ally Feiam | 09 Aug 2019

Tune in as Grant Arnott sits down with Aussie retail veteran and icon, Peter Knock, where they discuss the power of Amazon and why you can’t predict the future of retail.

As one of the icons in Australian retail, Peter Kock knows a thing or two about E-commerce. Working in retail and e-commerce for more than 20 years a lot has changed for him in the industry. “It’s been 21 years since I turned on the Dymocks website, which was Australia’s first high-volume consumer website,” Mr Knock explained.

Before the world that we live in today, Amazon was the most significant threat for online retailers. Although this is still the case, it seems that retailers can start embracing the success of the marketplace, rather than figuring out a way to ‘get around’ it. “You could get around Amazon; you could defeat them; be better than them. But they were always there, the gorilla in the room. These days, we’ve learned so much from Amazon, and one of the benefits of them coming to Australia is especially in that last-mile logistics. Just the improvements we’ve seen in the past two years, alone, has been incredible.”

A fundamental factor in creating a successful online business, according to Mr Knock, is establishing trust with the consumer, something he sees as Amazon succeeding. “When you’ve got a good brand name, and you start with a brand like Dymocks, it’s very easy to build up and build from. I think Amazon did very well to build that,” he explained.

Peter Knock

Peter Knock currently sits as an Advisor across multiple retail boards, leaving him at the forefront of the latest trends, two of which have captured his interest. “Of course, it really depends on the type of business you are. One of the key issues they have is that technology is moving so fast – you look at the P&L, cashflows, and how you balance out the investment. Some of the bigger businesses have to take a real hit to the P&L because of that technical debt that already have. That’s a real concern,” Mr Knock said.

So, what can we expect for retail, and can we predict what’s to come? “What to expect next is always the unexpected,” he explained. “Anyone who says they can see more than 12 months into the future, that’s a real challenge.”

To hear more insights from the retail veteran, listen to the full Power Retail Podcast below.

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