A good day at a conference is not a given. Too often it feels either not quite relevant to what ‘you’ the individual wants to know or learn, or the content is good, but perhaps to narrow, or repetitive… but sometimes it can really hit the mark. John Noble at the British Brands Group hosted a fantastic one last Friday 13th (!) delivered by Oxford University (thanks to BBG for enabling me to come along). The only ghouls in sight were those conjured up by the speakers of ‘big tech’ and the challenge these behemoths pose to innovation and value in the UK economy, which off-course includes the Grocery sector. Its topical – for everyone and very clear that what the impacts are on the consumer are still largely not understood by all, particularly those doing the consuming. Which in itself is a challenge, because if consumers aren’t getting upset, then political will can flag and that can mean no legislative action, so no change.
There has and undoubtably is, a huge revolution going on in how consumers consume, some of it obvious, some of it less so. Nor is it clear how Grocery will shape up in 2023 and beyond, as we see on-line start to re-shape post the pandemic (remember that!?) and Amazon continues to develop its presence. What is clear is that there is going to be a role for statutory bodies and Government in determining what a ‘free market’ looks like and especially now the UK is no longer part of the EU (or is it?).
The Competition Markets Authority has been hard at work looking into what this means and how Government should legislate digital markets and legislate to encourage competition in them (see: Digital markets and the new pro-competition regime) and the proposed Draft Digital Markets, Competition and Consumer Bill. It’s worth every Branded supplier reading these proposals and making it their business to have voice in what comes next because, if our experiences with Amazon to date are anything to go by, how Big Tech behaves will have a direct impact on your business.
From a Salitix perspective, it was something of a reality check – if States are struggling to understand how to manage these market places, then its not surprise Brands are as well, little alone anyone else. But what it also reminded me is that there are huge opportunities for change and change for the better. We all need to take an interest in how we interact with digital platforms and what this actually means for us and our general wellbeing. If we don’t, we might end up somewhere we don’t like.
If you trade with Amazon, then remember Salitix can help you reconcile that trading and maximise your margins – exactly!