37: Google Chats About COVID’s Impact on Retail and Search Trends

Written by Rob Stott

September 1, 2020


Ahead of the final quarter of 2020, we sat down with Patrick Tam, strategic partner manager at Google, to talk about trends in e-commerce and search that he’s been following and how COVID-19 has impacted them. Nationwide Marketing Group President of Digital & Technology Dev Mukherjee also joins in on the conversation.

Here are links to the tools from Google that were discussed in the podcast:

Rob Stott: All right. We’re back on Independent Thinking podcast, and diving into an awesome conversation, one that’s been on our calendars for a while, and I’m glad we’re finally getting to do it, and I know I have a challenge in front of me. I told you guys ahead of time, I like to stick to a certain time. I know that’s not going to happen today, but we’ll see what we can do, especially when I have Mr. Dev Mukherjee returning to the podcast. Our first return interviewee. So, Dev, first of all, thanks for I guess convincing me to allow you to come back on the podcast. That’s number one. But no. So Dev Mukherjee-

Dev Mukherjee: Yeah. The edible arrangement is in the mail.

Rob Stott: Well, thank you. So, Dev, as though who know Nationwide, our President of digital and technology for Nationwide. And joining us for this conversation, Mr. Patrick Tam, a strategic partner manager for Google. Patrick, I appreciate you agreeing to do this despite what you’re up against today.

Patrick Tam: Yeah. I’ve been looking forward to the challenge, and Rob and Dev, just a pleasure being with you guys today.

Rob Stott: That’s awesome. So I’m going to start with you, Patrick. We’re in an interesting time right now with COVID going on and everything that we’ve seen on the independent retail side, but I just kind of want to quickly get your thoughts on, from your perspective, how these past few months have impacted you and your role and kind of what you do on a day to day.

Patrick Tam: Yeah. Yeah. It’s definitely made for an interesting time, and I think, like the rest of us here at Google, we didn’t really have playbook for navigating any of this, so it’s really just been all hands on deck and everyone trying to be just as helpful as possible, testing things, getting data and kind of adjusting from there. So yeah. We’re also trying to figure things out as we go along, but the goal, at the end of the day, is how do we be the most helpful, and that’s really been kind of our North Star through all of this.

Rob Stott: I think we can relate. Dev and I would agree, just trying to figure out how we can be helpful from the Nationwide side to the independent retailers out there. Dev, to you, I know what kind of stood out… I think you’d agree, what stood out to us during all this time is just how independent retailers have had to just completely rethink the way they do business in the face of a pandemic and adjusting business models, closing stores in some cases, shifting the way they do business and interact with their customers. So I was just wondering for you, as far as an update on what you’ve seen from members and what they’ve been doing during this time?

Dev Mukherjee: Sure Rob. Happy to answer that. Actually, I should start by saying thank you to Patrick and team. It’s a long time ago now, but the middle of March, the Google team was incredibly helpful to us as we started to see what was happening. They were very quick to give us ideas around how to help our members communicate to their customers around what was going on and what steps they were taking. And the content our members were able to use around the steps they were taking to keep everybody safe, and what things they were going to do in order to communicate when the store was opened and curbside pickup. Many of those ideas came from Patrick’s team at Google. And as we all saw, there were literally hundreds of our members took that content to communicate with the world at large. This is what’s happening. These are the steps we are taking. Having those ideas, even though none of us had a playbook, having those ideas early on is really the hallmark of our relationship with Google.

Dev Mukherjee: They see such a broad swath of what’s happening around the world to be able to say here are some things quickly that you need to focus on has been incredibly helpful. But to answer your question, looking back over the last few months, I have to say I’m incredibly proud of what our members have done, and what our team at Nationwide has done. It may have been a couple of years ago, Rob, you and I were talking about what people were calling the retail apocalypse.

Rob Stott: Yeah.

Dev Mukherjee: I don’t want to belittle how terrible this has been for so many people and how challenging it is today, but the adaptability that we’ve seen from our membership has really incredible, and in many ways, we have been ahead of what the national chains have been able to do in being responsive to local communities and to the market at large. And I know people who are on the audio version is not going to be able to see it, but as you can see it from the slide here, the growth rate in just the traffic for our overall network has been kind of astounding. I mean, we were already on quite a tear over the last couple of years, but very quickly we saw more than double the traffic coming to the total side of Nationwide member websites.

Dev Mukherjee: Our CEO, Sean Crane asked me to try and put into context, and I was really wrestling for a way to do that, and what I realized was that the traffic that we were looking at at the beginning of March was actually greater than the total traffic for either CNN or MSNBC. I don’t want to turn this into a political discussion about which channel we should be watching. But at one point, we literally had a million visitors a day across all of our websites. And so, my top line answer to you Rob is the adaptability of the channel, the adaptability of our members with support from many of our partners, not just Google but Wells and Synchrony and of course, all of our manufacturer partners, really allowed us to stay ahead of the game, and many of our members actually showed record growth in certain categories because they were able to communicate with their customers, drive their website and really enhance e-commerce and some of the other technologies I know we’ll be talking about before the end of the podcast.

Rob Stott: Yeah. Absolutely. And I know a lot of those things obviously what you’re talking about, at the onset of the pandemic, obviously were things that are digital-related, those services that, I think you mentioned adding Chat, adding e-commerce capabilities to websites, and clearly, turning itself into increased traffic for members and kind of a nice way to sort of turn it over to you Patrick. Does that translate to what you guys were tracking on the Google side of things in terms of this boost in traffic for the independent retailer?

Patrick Tam: Yeah. Absolutely. It tracks really closely, almost eerie in fact. Hearing those numbers from Dev is really encouraging to see that this is translating not just to the largest retailers, but to everyone kind of within the spectrum. And that’s really the main takeaway here is that there has just been a massive kind of shift in the retail industry, but it’s also created opportunity, so I’ll speak on that.

Patrick Tam: Based on our data, starting in March, we saw a dramatic shift to sales being done online. So e-commerce sales essentially tripled in volume compared to where they were in January and the contrast we saw in-store sales actually dropping by half as those shelter in place orders were put in place. And this shift of the retail industry has many implications, and I’m sure we’ll talk through some of those as we go along, but I think the most important thing is that it’s created a playing field that is vastly more open for retailers than ever before because theoretically a small retail digital storefront is potentially is just as easy to find online and shop with as any other.

Patrick Tam: And this enables on the consumer side, many more options to consider when deciding who to do their business with, and for the retailers, it creates many more opportunities to win that business now that the playing field is one, more open and more level. And we’re seeing that bear out as well with some of the data that we’ve been tracking internally, so there was a study done by, I think it was MIT Sloan, that did a survey of consumers across the US and the impact of COVID on their shopping habits, and 54% of them, over half, said that they had purchased from a business that was new to them during quarantine. And it also bears out within our internal data as well, so looking at internal traffic data here at Google, we saw since March through July, over 40% of all retail web visitors were brand new customers.

Rob Stott: Wow.

Patrick Tam: So that affirms the fact that the opportunity is one, vast online, and also, there is significant opportunity to grow your business as well as find new customers, and to build loyalty with those customers in just a short time.

Rob Stott: Yeah. I was going to ask this a little bit later on, but it’s kind of a perfect time to bring it up, is that even in some other studies, you mentioned the shopping levels, I know you kind of look back to what the holiday shopping season was like in 2019 and I think the average, according to a couple of different studies, was like $70 billion was spent online during the holiday season, and if you look at April, May, June, the online spending that those same studies were seeing, increased, it was beyond those levels of holiday shopping.

Patrick Tam: Yeah.

Rob Stott: So you take Black Friday and the December holiday season and you look at how that stacked up to the first two months of the lockdown, the lockdown beat the holiday, so the Q4 shopping season was at one point a record, and now has been beat by COVID-19 shopping. I mean, crazy to think there’s always been this trend of consumers are starting to spend more online, and we’ve been tracking it and is this something that will sustain this sort of high level of online shopping or do you see it as something that it’s because of COVID and it’ll sort of even out or balance out I guess?

Patrick Tam: Yeah. It’s hard to predict. It’s hard to predict. But I do think that long-term, going back to the point about 41% of all retail traffic was from new customers. I think the kind of expansion of access points for people who haven’t traditionally shopped online and are kind of waking up to the kind of benefits of it, the ability to obviously have the convenience of not having to leave your house, to be able to comparison shop or research while shopping. A lot of those benefits will continue to remain, and have always been kind of intrinsic benefits of e-commerce. And who knows what that balance will be in the hopefully near future when things start to get back to normal.

Patrick Tam: But I think e-commerce was already a settling, growing portion of the retail industry as it is before the pandemic and I think those benefits have just kind of accelerated their proliferation so to speak. So I think there will be some semblance of these trends. Who knows what it’ll exactly look like, but I definitely think it’s going to be a core part of every retailers business strategy going forward.

Rob Stott: Got you. And to that point, I want to ask you too, that type of upheaval and having to adjust. Retailers are going to have to adapt and respond to… They have adapted and responded, but obviously they’re going to have to continue to do so. So, I mean, what are you seeing from that regard as to how retailers have responded to this sustained period of having to adjust their business models?

Patrick Tam: Yeah. It’s been really remarkable and I think the data bears out from your side of the house as well, just from Dev talking through the jump in website traffic and e-commerce transactions. I think the kind of nimbleness of the retail industry, specifically independent retailers, to really quickly pivot their businesses and adapt to these shifting consumer needs and behaviors is really remarkable and seeing folks embrace things like enabling curbside pickup or shifting to e-commerce and really digitizing your product catalog in a short time. I think it speaks a lot to the resilience of these retailers and the industry at large.

Rob Stott: And kind of drilling down even a little further, I know not long ago, you spoke with our partners at Retailer Web Services in a similar format. We’re not going to get into who has the better podcast or anything like that. We have interview capabilities here, but I know you had an awesome conversation with them and shared some really cool data points. I know talking to our appliance guys, they’ve been still trying to catch up with the increased popularity of products in the appliance category and some of the numbers, I mean, I’m looking potentially for updates. I know I think at the time you said freezers, searches for small appliances and freezers, stuff like that, up 50% compared to last year, and then even furniture and bedding, they were seeing almost 25% increases. I know states are starting to change how they operate and what businesses are open and things like that, but how have those numbers sort of continued to track over the last couple of weeks and months?

Patrick Tam: Yeah. Rob, when I spoke with the RWS team back in May, we were able to highlight that a lot of the kind of household related categories were, in some cases, doing better than expected, and others at least keeping pace with last year. But the encouraging thing is since then, we’ve actually seen a substantial acceleration in interest when we look at search volume on Google. So I’ll walk you through the numbers. So across the US at the end of July, when we’re looking at search volume and year on year growth for the number of search queries for that category, we’re seeing acceleration across the board. So for appliances, for instance, high level at the beginning of April is when we last kind of checking in, search volume was growing at about 32% year on year in the US. As of the end of July, that’s jumped to 44% year on year.

Rob Stott: Wow.

Patrick Tam: Yeah. And within that, the top search term is refrigerator, and that’s growing at 52% year on year.

Rob Stott: Wow.

Patrick Tam: So it’s really, really promising to see that as people spend more time at home, they’re really kind of focusing their energy on kind of making improvements or kind of getting themselves in a better position. So it’s been really heartening to see. And as I was looking through the data this week, saw some other kind of interesting trends, so I’ll share those with you guys. So in a surprise to no one who has been seeing all their friends become overnight baking experts on Instagram, the fastest growing product within the appliance category is bread makers, and those are growing at 80% year on year.

Rob Stott: Wow. So I don’t know who’s baking that bread. Last time that I checked when I was at a grocery store, yeast is unavailable anywhere you go. So I don’t know. They have all these bread makers now, they’re probably just sitting on counters unable to be used. That’s funny.

Dev Mukherjee: I’m loving bread.

Rob Stott: Oh. That’s crazy.

Patrick Tam: I’m more of a pasta guy myself for that. Yes. And just kind of walking you quickly through some of the other categories. Home furniture, for instance, as I mentioned was really just keeping pace back when we last checked in here. Essentially flat. They were about 4% year on year in terms of search volume growth in April. As of July, it’s at 47%.

Rob Stott: Wow.

Patrick Tam: 47%. It’s really remarkable. Couches are the top search term not surprisingly, at about 57% year on year. And yeah. So it’s great to see that segment really jump back up. And then for bedding, we were at about 25% as you mentioned back in April, and that has since jumped to 41%.

Rob Stott: Wow.

Patrick Tam: Again, all of these are really encouraging signs that the household related categories specifically are getting so… Generating a ton of interest and a lot of demand as well. So this is hopefully, really heartening for our retailers out there who are listening.

Rob Stott: Yeah.

Dev Mukherjee: So, Patrick, you’ve just made Tom Hickman incredibly happy because all the way through this, he’s been predicting that people being forced to sleep in their own beds and sit on their couch with the rest of the family all the way through this will generate kind of a burst in activity, and I think you’ve now proven that, so…

Rob Stott: It’s kind of that trailing effect. People have been sitting at home searching online as it is, and now, not only are they searching online, but they’re doing it from these couches and dinner tables that they’ve spent, beds maybe even, that they’ve spent weeks on end sitting on, laying on, and finally, deciding it’s time to replace them. So it’s kind of been talked about I think anecdotally, but to see numbers that actually back it up is really exciting I think.

Patrick Tam: Yeah. Yeah. You’re right. You’re right. It’s a lot of those things. It’s like you’re at home, that dent in the couch is a little more noticeable and a little more obvious day by day, and all of the sudden, you get a little stir crazy.

Rob Stott: Yeah. The quarantine 15 certainly doesn’t help with that then either. It gets a little deeper. So there’s that to consider. But I want to turn it to both of you because we’re obviously talking about some of the cool trends and things that you’ve seen stick out during this time numbers-wise. Is there anything that kind of… And this is, again, to both Patrick and Dev. Any trends that caught you off guard as you’re looking through numbers and not necessarily in a bad way caught you off guard, but maybe surprised you just about whether it’s consumer shopping trends that you’ve noticed, Patrick or Dev, as it relates to kind of how our members are working through this right now?

Dev Mukherjee: So I’ll mention a couple of things. First, how our members are adapting, but secondly, Patrick and I both should probably talk a little bit about digital marketing because that has been definitely a little bit of a surprise. On the innovation side, a number of our members have been leveraging chat functionality on their websites as we talked about before, a lot to be able to interact with consumers, particularly consumers on the go with cell phones. The amount of video chats that has blossomed for both selling and for servicing has been truly amazing. I had a Nationwide member in Charlotte, Sweet Dreams, has done an incredible job in being able to show merchandise even in the heart of the pandemic.

Dev Mukherjee: And as Patrick was touching on earlier, we showed data earlier on because we saw the spike in furniture and bedding, and a lot of it was being driven by our members being very innovative in how they present products to consumers, how they help consumers choose, and then how they manage, as Patrick was saying, different delivery options was really tremendous.

Dev Mukherjee: On the advertising side, we were expecting that, in many ways, people would cut back on advertising, but one of the things that Patrick’s teams and our teams spent a lot of time looking at is how much people are leveraging marketing to be able to talk about the fact that they’re open, that they have all of these procedures in place, and that they have product because there are definitely some shortages in the market, but also, lots of other opportunities. And so, the merchant team at Nationwide is definitely trying to help with it as well. But Patrick, I guess we’ve said it before about how people are leveraging digital marketing in different ways. Is there anything that you’ve seen on the Google side that has stood out to you? Sorry, Rob. I’m not going to take away your job here.

Rob Stott: So you’re asking the questions now. See, this is what I was worried about.

Dev Mukherjee: Patrick and our teams have been having this conversation, so I know that it’s an area that they have been doing some work here, so I’m not trying to take away the mantle, I promise.

Rob Stott: Yeah. This is your first strike.

Dev Mukherjee: Okay.

Patrick Tam: That was a seamless transition. Yeah. I, one, agree with everything you said, Dev, about a lot of the really kind of innovative things that have emerged out of this. I particularly like the kind of embracing of not just e-commerce in general, but also, enhancing that e-commerce experience through things like chat or using video to demonstrate products. I think that’s been really cool to see. Really cool to see how people have adapted to the kind of unique environment that an e-commerce shopping experience brings to help perhaps not replicate the kind of physical store or showroom experience, but to at least bring some of those kind of that essence to it.

Patrick Tam: So one thing I think has been really important is how retailers embrace flexibility because as you mentioned, Rob, if you go state by state, hell, city by city, there are different policies in place around what retailers can or can’t do and whether you can go in the store or not. So there’s this huge really kind of dynamic market right now that retailers have to account for. So embracing that flexibility, kind of being nimble and providing different fulfillment options or purchase options is really encouraging to see.

Patrick Tam: And something that I think will be an important principle to maintain going forward as we mentioned earlier. So in the future, can we further embrace the concept of providing flexible fulfillment options, whether it be curbside pickup or perhaps order in store and deliver to home. The ability to kind of showroom products for really high consideration purchases like furniture or appliances. I think those will emerge as even more important kind of access points in the future. So yeah. That’s really the core theme is embracing that flexibility.

Rob Stott: Yeah. And to that point exactly, I think that term specifically, flexibility, is kind of one kind of bringing it full circle to Dev’s point earlier about that retail apocalypse that a couple of years ago, we were hearing so much about and creating a lot of fear in the industry about. It’s kind of been that flexibility that I think has allowed that to sort of… People are still maybe talking about it here or there, but definitely to the level that it had been. So I’m wondering, is it just flexibility or is there other things that independents are able to do to sort of co-exist in this space where there still is that kind of elephant in the room giant of the e-commerce industry that’s out there, that they’re still able to have a successful retail business in this space?

Dev Mukherjee: I have to pick up that because you said the e-commerce industry. We’re part of that, right?

Rob Stott: Yeah.

Dev Mukherjee: I mean, e-commerce numbers, as Patrick noted earlier, have gone through the roof, and all of the platforms, Site on Time and RWS, fully enable e-commerce, and so, to your point, I think the Darwin quote gets corrupted all the time, but it’s survival of the fittest, and in reality, that’s like… Forgive me while I put my professor hat on here for a sec, but the quote that it’s the survival of the most adaptable. And the retailers who are our members, and actually our vendors, I should give a vendor example. The fact that we’ve adapted so quickly with everything going on I think has been very powerful. To give the vendor example, one of the things that Patrick and his team have poked us on for probably the last couple of years is you need to get more and more of your members with inventory and pricing online.

Dev Mukherjee: And the reason for that, and Patrick can talk about this in a minute, but this is something that consumers want. They want to know what can I get, when I get it, how much is it going to cost, and so, the vendor community has been, with everything that they’ve had to face, incredibly responsive in helping us get more and more inventory information online and pricing information online. And I’ll let Patrick add to this, but when we think about websites, but Google does a fantastic job of taking data from our websites and putting it in front. I mean, we provide feeds that crawl, but putting that information in front of the consumer as soon as Google notices that they’re interested in a particular category. And so, I’ll let Patrick talk to that, but the fact that we’re getting more and more data from not just members, but from vendors on pricing and the local, regional distribution center availability, allows Google to take that data and put it in front of the consumer even before they go to one of our member’s website. Patrick, I hope I didn’t mess that up too much.

Rob Stott: You’re close to strike two, Dev. Close to strike two.

Dev Mukherjee: Sorry. I noticed when… It’s not often that I have the luxury of a Google expert on the call, so I certainly notice that I’m heading into Google territory, and I’m like, why am I talking about this. Patrick does it so much better.

Patrick Tam: Well, I don’t know about better, but I’m happy to add on. So yeah. You nailed it, though, Dev. One, we’ve, in a short time, been able to help retailers by launching a number of different tools, digital tool kits, features within our platforms to really help themselves be more helpful if that makes sense. And what you mentioned there with the kind of audience targeting, being able to target people based on their expressed interest in a product or even just knowing that someone recently moved or recently had a baby and being able to get the right product in front of that customer before they even search your product is a really powerful tool that I think retailers are more and more embracing to, one, help them not just find the right customers, but potentially new customers before those customers even realize they’re in the market in some cases. So it’s encouraging to see.

Patrick Tam: And I do want to highlight a handful of other tools that we’re seeing really strong positive feedback from that might be helpful to the retailers who are listening here today. So there are a number of things that we’ve launched, including within Google My Business and shopping ads, the ability to highlight curbside pickup and free delivery options if you offer those. Highlighting those in your ads or within Google Maps, your business listing. Retailers are also turning to tools like Google Trends, what we call the shopping insights tool, and the rising retail categories to get a pulse of consumer demand, and actually pivoting their business strategies and marketing strategies but also, their merchandising strategy as well to understand, okay, within this category, which products are really in the strongest demand, and how can I make sure that the valuable kind of floor space that I have for the valuable warehouse space that I have is really kind of prioritized for those products that will hopefully move faster than others.

Patrick Tam: So it’s helping them kind of spend their money more expeditiously and wisely, and it’s only going to help more as we mentioned as the market continues to be dynamic. Another thing that I wanted to highlight is within Google Merchant Center, to your point, Dev, about the importance of getting your products online, really digitizing your catalog. Within Merchant’s Center, we offer a number of different kind of benefits when you do do that, on top of enabling yourself to do e-commerce and shopping ads.

Patrick Tam: We have things like the bestseller report that just launched this past spring, which looks at your inventory feed and shows you all the bestselling products in the category, and tells you whether you have those products in your catalog. So you can figure out, okay, hey this LG TV is selling like gangbusters across all of Google, but I don’t have it in my inventory. I should prioritize that and potentially increase your marketing budget accordingly. So these are all really valuable tools that we’re seeing retailers embrace more and more, and I think the more folks embrace that, the more data that they have at their hands, the better decisions they’ll be able to make given how kind of fluctuating this whole situation is.

Rob Stott: Yeah. And I know that there is obviously a lot of great tools there that both of you have mentioned that independent retailers have been able to take advantage of. One thing, I wanted to close on it, we’re getting to that point somehow already. I don’t know. We did good here, Dev. But one thing I wanted to close on was looking at some of those opportunities that are available to independent retailers as they look forward. Obviously, right now continuing to manage through this situation and the environment that they’re in, but looking ahead to past that, beyond that, what are some of those things that retailers could turn to as they look to stay successful and viable?

Dev Mukherjee: Actually, I was going to bring up what Patrick just said, we had the… I think it’s the furniture and bedding council, and you have a team, I think Amanda and Scott took them through a lot of the Google Trends data. Patrick, as you know, a lot of our role is to take some of the most sophisticated stuff that you give us and package it up in a way that the retailers can really leverage it, and the feedback I had from that team was that it was really, as Patrick exactly said, very useful and insightful, but also gave them ideas as to things that they might look at in the future.

Dev Mukherjee: Looking forward, I don’t want to sound cliché, Rob, but I think there’s a little bit of you’ve got to keep the faith. We’ve had a lot of partners who continued to stay with us through all of this, on both the manufacturer’s side, but even the partner side, Wells and Synchrony helping us with get a credit tools that we can put on the web, STS and Pricer are working with us on electronic shelf times because we haven’t talked about it because of the store issue, but we recently rolled out our 10,000… Well, I guess we’d consider lit up our 10,000th electronic price tag through Flash Tags that runs across both RWS and Sight on Time.

Dev Mukherjee: And so, understanding that there is a future that we need to head to, whichever way it pans out and the things that Patrick and I and Rob you’ve been talking about on this podcast are the things that have worked through these really difficult times, and will continue to work going forward. And I couldn’t be more proud to be part of both an organization but also, all of our membership and partners as well, for embracing all of this stuff, and as we said earlier, driving their own adaptability. Now is the time to really double-down on all of that. Things are working well. Patrick said it very well with the data about how the search volume is going up. Now is the time to embrace this, to leverage it as we’ve always said, Rob, Nationwide is here to help our members be successful. We don’t succeed if they don’t succeed.

Dev Mukherjee: And so, if there is any of the things that we’ve touched on, if there is a member or a partner listening, they should get in touch with their MSM or call me or call any member of the team in order to make sure that they’re on track to do everything that they can because we’ve actually demonstrated, and I would include Google in this, we have demonstrated by putting our heads together, putting these tools together, that we have an incredibly positive impact, even in what have been some of the most difficult, both business, economy and certainly retail times any of us have ever seen.

Rob Stott: Yeah. Patrick, anything to add to that?

Patrick Tam: Yeah. Yeah. That was very well said, Dev. Yeah. I concur. I think it’s encouraging to see these trends that we’ve kind of talked through today, and what the takeaway is is that these needs, these consumer needs especially in these categories, intrinsically will never go away. People will always have a need to buy a new couch or will need a new refrigerator or want a new TV, whatever it may be. How they go about getting those things is what’s changing dramatically. It’s been heartening to see how retailers have begun embracing those shifting needs early on, and I think with any kind of dynamic environment like this with so much uncertainty, we’re still getting the signals to tell us what the new normal will start to look like. And these investments that we’re making now to really shift our… To really pivot our business to get your products online and create a really fantastic online shopping experience. These investments will pay off in due time in the immediate term, but also long-term as well as things settle.

Patrick Tam: So I encourage people to continue to embrace a lot of the innovations that Dev has talked through today, and some of the tools that I walked through today, and really set yourself up well for the future where purchase paths and access points are going to be incredibly flexible and dynamic and you’ll have business potentially coming from all channels. How do you set yourself up for success across the board there, and you do that by investing now, and you’ll be in a position to kind of succeed in the future.

Rob Stott: Yeah. And there’s one point that you made there that I think is… I was thinking about it as you were talking, and then you said it, and it really sticks home, is that we’ve talked a lot about how adaptable and flexible this industry, the independent retailer has been. The key operative here is that they’re willing to be adaptable too. We’ve talked about a lot of numbers and data and tools that are available to them, and I know Nationwide, we throw a lot of things at members asking them, offering insights and advice and access to these kinds of tools and they’ve shown an ability to be flexible and adaptable, but not only an ability, but a willingness to do so, to adjust their business models and show that they’re willing to do what it takes to survive. That adaptability, like you said, Darwin over here, Mr. Dev, Professor Dev.

Rob Stott: So it goes to show it’s an industry of professionals that are willing to fight for their business and it’s inspiring every day. So I appreciate you guys taking some time to talk about it, and it’s been a fun ride, and chatting with both of you and kind of seeing how these numbers have trended, and I look forward, I know whether it’s in a podcast or not, down the road here looking to see how they continue to trend. So I thank for sharing those numbers and I know we’ll be in touch.

Dev Mukherjee: Thanks Rob. Thanks Patrick.

Patrick Tam: Thanks to you both for having me, and yeah. Would love to do this again in the future and check in with even more astounding stats. So count me in.

Rob Stott: That’s awesome. Thank you.

Dev Mukherjee: I’ll be sending you that bread maker, Rob.

Rob Stott: Sounds good. If there is some yeast in there with it, that would be even better.

Dev Mukherjee: All right. Take care of yourselves, guys.


Connect With Us!

More Podcasts

201: ANDMORE CEO Talks Las Vegas Market, Furniture Trends and More

201: ANDMORE CEO Talks Las Vegas Market, Furniture Trends and More

Bob Maricich, Chairman and CEO of ANDMORE – the brand behind the Las Vegas, High Point and Atlanta furniture market events – graciously stopped by the Nationwide Marketing Group showroom during Las Vegas Furniture Market.

200: PayPal Brings Us Up to Speed on the New Ways to Purchase Product

200: PayPal Brings Us Up to Speed on the New Ways to Purchase Product

PayPal sheds some light on the many ways in which customers prefer to spend their money at retail – none of which involve cash or checks.

199: What’s Behind the Big Boom in Lighting?

199: What’s Behind the Big Boom in Lighting?

To get a grasp on why lighting has experienced such a surge in popularity in the custom integration industry, we chat with Jennifer Kirkpatrick, director of sales for American Lighting.