Big box retail giants know an important truth about their customers: People crave convenience and efficiency. But it doesn’t end there — with so many choices, having everything under one roof means an incredible variety of products or services. These are merely a few reasons the one-stop-shop business model is experiencing a rebirth.
The concept of the "one-stop shop" is thought to have originated in the 1920s in the automotive industry. Combining service and parts into one business in one square space was a revolutionary concept. Today, it’s something largely taken for granted, especially in the era of the big-box store. But applying this template to a host of businesses — from law firms and financial institutions to health care centers and marketing companies — is revitalizing the concept and proving that it’s not just for traditional retail anymore.
A Delicate Balance
The one-stop shop model is built on three things: convenience, choice and competency. It allows the consumer to find everything in one location, maximizing the buyer’s time and offering unparalleled convenience. This “business-in-a-box,” so to speak, also offers an incredible variety of products, services or experiences. But in order to make the first two areas successful, the business must have expertise in the add-ons that are offered. For example, a bank may expand to include tax preparation, estate planning and brokerage services, but qualified experts must be present to make this a viable model. By striking the balance of all three, a business can thrive as a one-stop shop. Case in point: a new set of companies in multiple industries are taking on the role of a multifaceted hub offering everything you might need to upgrade your life, from free content to experts for hire.
Why it Draws Consumers
The appeal of the one-stop shop for the end user is evident. But from a business standpoint, the advantages are also legion. First, the more specialized a business, the more it must rely on its service or product remaining relevant. Where the specialty model is beholden to whatever is trending, the one-stop shop’s multiple offerings allow for a certain degree of ebb and flow in popularity. The one-stop shop may eliminate the financial reliance on a single market. Additionally, it’s much easier to expose an already existing customer to an add-on product or service than it is to start from scratch and build a relationship with a new consumer. Again, the business-in-a-box premise avoids this complication — allowing existing clients to benefit from a wider range of options — and thereby reducing the cost of customer acquisition for the business.
Getting on Board
The concept of one-stop shops isn’t new, but businesses looking to refresh their brands are jumping on the trend. The key to a successful transition from specialty business to the broader, everything-under-one-roof approach can be traced back to proper branding. Don’t merely rely on the term “one-stop shop” to sell yourself. Dig into what you do and what you can uniquely offer, and position yourself accordingly. When positioning your brand with mission statements, taglines, and other internal and external identifiers, focus on the core competencies that set you apart from others in your space.
About the Author
Stacey Kole is a principal director at Branded, a personal and small business branding agency. A former magazine editor and published author, she currently contributes to the online editions of several publications. She is the Executive Director of a nonprofit organization, working to build scholarship funds for young women in the state of Arizona.
All content provided herein is for educational purposes only. It is provided “as is” and neither the author nor Office Depot, Inc. warrant the accuracy of the information provided, nor do they assume any responsibility for errors, omissions or contrary interpretation of the subject matter herein.
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