10 great ideas you can steal from 10 innovative retailers – part 1
The 10 most innovative companies of the year are generating big revenues thanks to their ability to innovate themselves and tap into the right markets. They are doing it right - and you can do it too. This week we are bringing you 5 of the top 10 companies: read on to see if you can find a great entrepreneurial idea you can steal and apply in your own business.
10. Frank & Oak
Frank & Oak started as an exclusive online shop for male professionals; shoppers had to become members before they could make purchases. The brand has recently expanded to a print magazine, blog and a flagship store in Toronto, Canada, which features a shop, a café and barbershop. The idea to steal: Create a homogeneous brand across all the channels, and make your target customers feel like they are part of an exclusive group, rather than faceless consumers.
09. Walker & Company brands
Walker & Company Brands designs and develops hair and beauty products that address the needs of black consumers. The brand’s first product is single-blade-razor designed for men with coarse or curly hair. The idea to steal: Focus on a neglected consumer market, and provide products that respond to oft-forgotten needs. Make sure that your niche is large enough to guarantee you adequate returns.
Pinterest, the popular social media site to save and share creative ideas, recently got through a revitalization. To gain more sponsorship they introduced the "promoted pins" program, which retailers can use to advertise their products by creating custom pins that are then published on the site. Pinterest also adopted a new personal-recommendation system, to give the users more tailored ads and content. The idea to steal: Don’t be afraid to innovate, even if your company already works. Use your knowledge of your customer base to deliver targeted content that is relevant to your customers’ interests and needs.
Instacart is an internet-based grocery delivery service operating across the United States. Customers order their groceries through an app; Instacart’s "personal shoppers" take care of the shopping, and deliver the goods on the same day. Instacart is more effective than traditional delivery services as it is not encumbered by expensive assets like delivery fleets of trucks or warehouses. The idea to steal: Experiment with old models, and use technology to innovate them and make them more profitable.
Flipkart is a service connecting third-party sellers with customers. It has 26 million users shipping 5 million items every month, and its two main competitors are Amazon and eBay. Last summer Flipkart raised $1 billion in funding to upgrade its technical services; a few months later it launched an app that enables users to use Flipkart on Android wearable tech. Last fall, the company also hosted a gigantic one-day sale to show how much commerce it could support; Flipkart claims the sale earned them over $100 million. The idea to steal: Have the courage to take on big competitors. Make bold moves, and let the competition stimulate you, rather than drive you out of the race. Inspired by this list? Then make sure to read also the second blog in this series, where you will find out what you can learn from the top 5 innovative companies in retail of the year.