“Ideas” are for retailers to fill.

by Jim April 7, 2020

Isolation week three. Or is it four? I’ve lost count already. I was sent a list of the Top 100 fastest-growing categories in the US at the moment and it made for interesting reading. Some of them we’ve already covered in previous videos, but others are categories that people have been accused of hoarding in. I don’t think that’s the case; it’s more society adapting to the new world.

What I learned

  • What are the top 100 fastest growing categories?
  • Why are they the ones growing?
  • Can your business adapt to the changing market?
  • How to capitalise on the next big opportunity


Hey welcome back, everybody. How you going? How`s working from home? Just quietly, I`m loving it. I kind of like isolation at the best of times. I`m a bit of a nerd that way, a bit of a geek, a little bit antisocial. But anyway.

But having said that, I had some great fun on the weekend, because I had gotten further involved in this open-source medical supply stuff. This is a little bit off-topic, but I know I have a lot of geeks that watch this show and quite a few nerds as well, and quite a few 3D printing nerds like Joel. So Joel here, I watch his channel a lot. Great channel, great guy. Just shares and shares and shares everything he knows about 3D printing. Excellent channel. Go and check him out, subscribe.

He did a show on these 3D printed face shields, and they`re really easy to make. Now, I know. I look like a human shuttlecock. That`s what my mate said. However, I then got onto the Nextdoor app, which is an app that tells you about your neighbours. You can offer help to your neighbours, and they can offer help to you. Whatever. I said, `Who needs these?` And I`m dropping some off at the local ambulance station, a local GP needs some. I love the Internet. It`s just great. Anyway, with all the doom and gloom around, that`s pretty nice. Go and check out Joel`s channel. There`s a whole range of things that you can print now for open-source medical supplies. They`ve all been approved. If you want more information about that, just hook up with me on Twitter or wherever.

The fastest growing

Under the business of retail though, I was looking at this post by Andrew Chin. I was made aware of it by Josh Rowe. Thank you, Josh. It`s about the top 100 fastest growing categories in the US, and then the ones that have been losing. Now, a lot of the ones we`ve already talked about, like kitchen equipment, like bread machines, like everything that you need in your home now that you`re not going to go and buy it from the shop. You`re not going to go and buy lunch from the shop. You don`t have that shop there anymore to buy lunch from.

So if all of these things are changing, a lot of people think it`s hoarding. I would put to people that it`s not necessarily hoarding, it`s that we`ve got this shift from restaurants and everything else that have always had this and the people at home haven`t needed to buy all this food and this flour and this pasta, because they`re going to restaurants. Well, they`re not going to restaurants anymore. So all of that stuff has to switch to home. The same applies to other things that might be done. I mean, apart from just the things where we know people have to go and buy like gym equipment and stuff like that. You don`t want to have to go down the street every other day and buy bread. So you`re going to make it. So a bread machine is the easiest way to do that. There are a whole bunch of other things like that, like ping pong tables. Okay, that`s a leisure activity. Keep in mind, this is US.

There are a few things this hasn`t done or hasn`t picked up. It may just be the granularity of it. This may be included in other areas, but I`m not seeing anything about 3D printers there. I am seeing stuff about cleaning supplies, which is interesting. I`m not seeing anything specific about vacuum cleaner bags. They`re going through the roof at the moment because they make great air filters, the whole bunch of other things. Please don`t go out and hoard vacuum cleaner bags. Go and check out Andrew Chin on LinkedIn.

But what this doesn`t cover is why people are buying. So for instance, Kmart is through the roof, and there`s been a lot of people over the weekend that have said, `Oh, Kmart, your servers. You can`t handle the server load. Really? It`s 2020. How ridiculous.` I would say it`s probably not servers. I know Tim O`Neill and others disagree with me, which is fine. He`s a smart bloke. It wouldn`t be the first time either. If you have a look at that, this has gone up. We are currently at 86% of the normal peak volume for Kmart as a retailer. That usually happens at Christmas. To give you a wider perspective on this, go and have a look at five years. Look at that spike. Now, people say, `Yeah, but they have that spike at Christmas. They`ve been steadily growing every year.` Yeah. But look how long they`d have to work out what they`re going to stock, what staff they`re going to have on, alert their suppliers how much stock they`re going to need. They don`t have any of that at the moment.

What’s the next big opportunity?

The things that are getting bought are not just the things that are on this list. It`s all sorts of things. At the moment, it`s Easter eggs, a lot of Easter eggs being sold right now as you would imagine, because you can`t go and buy them at the shop. They have to be bought online. We are about to see the biggest sale of chocolate online in the history of Australia. Now, I don`t have any chocolate retailers. I know a few. Hi, Haigh’s. But you can`t go to the shop to buy it. People still want chocolate. We are going to see chocolate-making equipment go through the roof, Easter egg moulds, everything like that. All of that stuff is going to go through the roof.

You know what`s next after that? Have a think about it. Mother`s Day. This is going to be the biggest ever Mother`s Day sale we`ve seen online. We`ve got a combination in Australia of people not being able to go to the shop. It`s going to be cold and wet. I can`t go out anyway. There`s going to be a fair amount of guilt involved. Some of us may already be experiencing that, that we`re not going to be with mum on Mother`s Day. So we may be planning that now. It turns out we actually are.

This is where the gold lies for retailers; because previously, retailers wouldn`t necessarily have seen themselves in this category. You can see there, it`s got lower over the years. But now, if we go to the last 30 days, and if we go to the last seven days … Nope, that should be two words, not one. That`s what happens when you don`t use your glasses. Okay, so that is the 22nd of March. Boom, people, that was Irish Mother`s Day. Now, if we go and have a look at the last seven days, we can see that steady climb that`s starting to happen now. When we go and have a look at what people actually are interested in, they`re interested in personalised stuff. When is Mother`s Day? When is Mother`s Day in Australia? Mother`s Day gift. What is this phrase? Okay. What are you doing? How are you looking at that phrase and making your business profit from it? Because everyone`s probably selling something that mum wants unless it`s something that dad wants. I don`t know.

But everyone`s got something that a mum might want possibly. How are you packaging, how are you repurposing, how are you targeting people looking for that phrase? Because once you`ve worked that one out, you start to go bing. The penny drops, the light comes on, and you can start to see a whole lot more.

For those of you who`ve already worked that out, well done. We`ll dig deeper into this in the next few weeks, because buying habits have changed significantly. It`s not yesterday anymore. What we thought we knew about the way that people buy online has already changed, and you need to change with it. Hopefully, that`s helpful.

Hit me up for your free 10-minute review if you are in struggle town, and we`ll get you back up and running. Please, if you are a geek or a nerd, spread what you can about the open-source medical supplies and hit me up to find out more about it. Thank you very much. We`ll see you next week. Bye.

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