5 learnings for retail businesses from the SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket launch

etp-blog-spacex-elon musk falcon heavylaunch-learnings

US entrepreneur and CEO of SpaceX, Elon Musk has successfully launched his new rocket, the Falcon Heavy, into space from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida and set the Tesla Roadster car into space. This would go into the history books as one of the biggest and most influential achievements by man.

From the same pad where NASA launched rockets that carried astronauts to the moon, a big, new American rocket called the Falcon Heavy, built by SpaceX, the company founded and run by the billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk was launched successfully into space.

5 important learnings for retail and other businesses from this epic happening:

Think different

The Falcon Heavy is capable of lifting 140,000 pounds to low-Earth orbit, more than any other rocket today. Because the boosters are to be recovered to fly again, a Falcon Heavy launch costs not much more than one by the company’s existing rocket, Mr. Musk said.  SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy is estimated to cost $90m per launch; Nasa’s planned SLS rocket, a comparable system, is expected to cost about $1bn per flight.

Retail businesses must look to be different than their peers and be able to create experiences that are different, not only from their competitors but also different for every customer, making it more personalized and customized for them.

Take risks and be ready for failure

Mr. Musk estimated that his company had spent more than half a billion dollars on Falcon Heavy and said that the program was almost canceled three times. It was billed as a risky test flight in advance of the lift-off.  As the SpaceX CEO said the challenges of developing the new rocket meant the chances of a successful first outing might be only 50-50.

Retailers should not shy away from the risks that can manifest themselves while considering important technological transformations such as omni-channel, mobility and so on. They should be ready for that risk and be prepared for failures and then learn from these.

Strive for being better

Since 2010, SpaceX has been sending the smaller Falcon 9 rocket into orbit, deploying satellites and carrying cargo to crews aboard the International Space Station. The company has disrupted the global launch business with its lower prices and reusable boosters. However, taking the disruption further, the success gives SpaceX momentum to begin developing even larger rockets.

Retail businesses must look at trying to get better and not be contented with a business that works fine. They should constantly endeavor to enhance their businesses progressively to succeed in the long run.

Dream big and look towards the future

The successful launch of the Falcon Heavy into space seems to be the step in the right direction to fulfill Mr. Musk’s dream of sending people to Mars.

Retailers should always have the future in mind while doing business and setting goals that may seem to be big and unattainable. With that said, every effort to achieve these goals set in the future will help the retail businesses to proceed ahead.

Inspire with action

The success of launch of the Falcon Heavy is not the only historic achievement. This launch was historic in multiple other ways. For the first time ever, a pair of recycled boosters helped send a heavy payload to space. Only eight minutes later, those same two Falcon 9 side boosters returned and landed simultaneously at adjacent landing pads. This near flawless success is a major step toward cheaper, more frequent spaceflight, making it easier for governments and businesses to lift massive projects into space or set off on deep space missions.

Retail business owners must look to become leaders and pioneers in the industry and thus become a benchmark for other businesses not restricted to retail. This will help them achieve that status and stature which will be an example for others to egg and imbibe.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2017 – key takeaways


As the Black Friday weekend came to a steady close, the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales statistics are now in the books and with that data in hand, it is time to dissect it, dive deeper into various aspects of it, analyse it, and make note of the inferences and learnings to be used for the future.

To begin with, it was reported that American consumers spent over US $19 billion online over the five-day period from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday in 2017. This was a 15 percent rise in spends as compared to spends done during the same time-frame last year.

Moving on, more than 64 million Americans used both online and physical stores to carry out their purchases from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday. Consumers who shopped at both online and brick-and-mortar stores spent US $82 more on an average than online-only shoppers, and US $49 more on an average than brick-and-mortar stores-only shoppers. Black Friday 2017 seemed to be the most popular day for brick-and-mortar retail stores with more than 70 million shoppers, followed by Small Business Saturday (Nov. 25, 2017) with about 55 million shoppers.

One of the most important takeaways for retail businesses basis the above statistics is both offline and online retail channels were used by consumers to shop. In fact, consumers who used more than one channel to shop spent higher on an average than those who used only a single channel.

Mobile shopping or m-commerce has developed in to a popular channel for consumers to discover and buy products. And this popularity reached new levels this year as mobile purchases surpassed those on desktop throughout the entire Black Friday weekend. Mobile sales accounted for more than 60% of orders overall, an increase of 10% over the last year. Thus, retailers across the globe need to definitely harness this channel to boost their sales in the future.

With online, offline and mobile – 3 important channels at play significantly in this year’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping event, a very important learning for retailers is that omni-channel retail can help them maximize their sales.

Another important aspect of this year’s Black Friday shopping event was that, though dominated by U.S., other countries across the globe also noted a significant spike in their sales on the same day. Reports state that countries like South Africa, Spain and the United Kingdom saw over 3 times as many orders on Black Friday, whereas Germany, Canada and France witnessed over 2 times the orders. Other countries like Ireland, Singapore and China also noticed a bump in the number of orders on Black Friday 2017. Thus Black Friday is becoming a global phenomenon soon. For retail businesses across the globe, this translates into an opportunity to attract more customers and drive higher sales.

Retail brands looking to strike big in the near future must pay heed to these key takeaways and use the right combination of people, processes and technology to succeed.