Boosting Retail Sales – Saving the Retail Stores from Amazon – An Idea to Bring Customers Back

Jews live weekly on a weekly Parasha – Torah Reading. A Rabbi I used to learn with once explained that the Parasha does more than teach you laws, stories & Jewish philosophy – it gives you insight on what will happen that week.

Making the World Better

Yaakov Avinu – Jacob, Our Forefather – in Parasha VaYetze – it says “VaYetze Yaakov MiBe’eer Sheva vaYelekh Harana.” (Beresheet /Genesis 28:10)(Beresheet /Genesis 28:10) And Jacob went out from Be’er Sheva and he went to Haran. Rashi SaysRashi Says – we know that Yaakov was in Be’er Sheva from previous verses. Why does the Torah have to teach us that he left Be’er Sheva? This is obvious. Rashi answers – Yaakov was such a person that made such an impression on the area he went to – that when he left – so did the light leave, so did the glory leave, so did the beauty leave.

Apparently Yaakov – tried to make every place he went to better. That is the goal of our lives as Jews – to make any place that we come to better than it was before.

My father, of blessed memory said he learned in being in the scouts in Morocco that every campsite that you visit, you should leave it better than it was before. A similar concept.

So here is my idea for a better world – at least in the retail (or wholesale) business.

Amazon Took My Idea 🙂 – Selling Online

But Before I tell you the Idea, I want you to know that before Amazon or even the Internet existed, I had the idea of selling things online. In the good old days – when people had computers with names as such as the Apple II plus, the PET, the Commodore 64, the Amiga, the IBM PC – people would buy hardware called a modem. A modem is basically a phone for computers. Instead of going online – on the Internet – people would dial using phone lines into a computer BBS (Bulletin Board System). I thought – perhaps I could sell knapsacks – from Israel (Steve’s Jerusalem Packs) on a Bulletin Board System. People could download the catalog and then call me or send me a message on the BBS to order or mail me.

Why do I tell you my about great ideas? To make you admire me? No. I want you to know of a Torah concept. G-d gives ideas.  G-d also releases ideas at the proper time for the world to advance. The nature needed to make computers and drones existed since the time of creation. The ideas to tap into them – came at a certain time based upon what G-d thought was appropriate. He releases the ideas. Thus you have Amazon.

The 2,800 year-old Drone

Shlomo HaMelech / King Solomon invented a mechanical bird that was able to fetch him books or scrolls from his library. Thus the idea and technology for drones was there – but it wasn’t time for it to become widespread.

Amazon’s Hiddush / Novelty

Amazon has tapped into a customer that wishes to save time or money by doing shopping on-line. Their experience shopping on-line – although not as interesting as going to a retail store – gets the job done.

They are efficient but lose the human and product connection. The customer loses part of the shopping experience. They talk with an Alexis or a Siri. But that will never match talking with a human.

Getting Customers Back to Stores.

So how do retail stores get their customers back?

Let me coin the term the “virtual clerk” ™ or if you want the clerks name to sound more warm and human – the “Home Clerk.” ™ The “Virtuclerk” ™ is a human employee of the store that is on-site in the store itself. He or she has a cell phone. You call up the store. They connect you to a home clerk.

You want shoes – the home clerk brings you down the isle – as you watch on your cell phone. He or she shows you the shoes. “Yes. I like that one.” You choose the shoes. He or she rings you up. You can choose to come to store to pick the shoes up or they can send it to you.

Technically – this opens new doors. A person from New York can buy a coat from Israel or vice versa. You have a favorite store – but don’t feel like taking a 20 minute drive there – searching for 20 minutes – and then driving back. You can search before you get to the store – then drive there just to pick up the merchandise. No waiting on line to pay. You already paid before you arrived. If you don’t find what you like, you saved 40 minutes of driving. Or If you do find what you like – you save 40 minutes of driving by asking them to have it delivered.

A store can develop an app or they can just use whatsapp to implement the HomeClerk ™ idea. Perhaps the big boys – Google, Apple, Paypay and Amazon can incorporate it into their payment apps or their shopping systems. You can have an option “Shop live.” ™ Where the customer presses a button and you are connected to your favorite department store or retail store’s Home Clerk ™ HC(tm).

Physical Store Home Clerks ™, Public HCs & Private.

A Home Clerk can be private, a store employee and/or a public employee. A retail store can hire these Home Clerks ™ and customers can be directed to them via an app or a computer program. Customers can choose to turn off their cameras – as to not be seen by the Home Clerk ™.

A private agency can charge a certain amount per hour for shopping. If it is for groceries – they might charge 10$ an hour and also get a part of their wage from the store itself.

A public agency can use these Home Clerks ™ to help the elderly or infirm. They would be hired like Uber drivers – after a small period of training – and be called upon demand. They could do food shopping for the elderly and the like.

Someone who applies to be Home Clerk ™ employee can decide what schedule they prefer – if they want a 9 to 5 job – they can opt to be a Retail Store HC. If they want more flexible hours they can apply to be a Private or Public HC.

You heard it here first.

Remember Ohr Binyamin with a generous donation when you make your first million on the idea. 🙂

Make the world a better place.

Torah Word – What to Ask for in Prayer

The Parasha / Weekly Torah Reading – Behar – talks about Shmittah – letting the land rest from laboring the field every seven years.

If one does this G-d will give blessing in the sixth year that it will produce enough for 3 years. One for the sixth year, one for the seventh and one for the first year of the new Shmittah cycle. It says:

“if you follow my ordinances … You will dwell securely in your land . And I will give you fruit to your satiety. And If you will say “what shall we eat in the seventh year – for we will not plant and not harvest?”  I [Hash-m] will command My blessing that in the Sixth Year – it will provide [enough] produce  for three years.” (Vayikra / Leviticus 25:18-21)

 

*Question:* – It seems that a person that has a doubt as to relying on G-d by letting his land rest on the seventh year (because he asked “What shall we eat…”) G-d will give this blessing of “produce for three years”. Shouldn’t the blessing be given to people who have faith / Emunah in G-d that he will provide?

*Answer:*    There are two kinds of blessing – in quantity or in quality. A person who has doubts – G-d will give the blessing of quantity – so they can actually see with their eyes the blessing. The quantity of three years of produce.

To those that have faith – G-d will give the blessing of quality.  Their fruit will be so nutritious that one fruit will provide enough nutrition as 3 fruits.”

When asking blessing from Hash-m  – ask for quantity and quality.

Money that will be used for spiritual growth and helping Klal Yisrael & the world – not for Taxes or Medical expenses.

A soulmate that will have good midot / character traits, desire for growth, values and hashkafa / Torah outlook that will make me & Hash-m happy.

Children that will follow Torah and be righteous…

A path in life that will help me to find true spirituality, growth & truth & that will be pleasing to you Hash-m / G-d …

To get accepted into a school that will help me to achieve my potential in life …

Be specific and detailed – but not too detailed to give G-d “leeway” to give you good. Don’t pray to marry a particular person.  G-d knows best if a particular person is good for you to marry. Pray to Marry a person who will have the qualities that you desire – if it is good for you.

May our good prayers be answered* – Amen.

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*Hash-m is the Name of G-d to whom we direct our prayers.

D’var Torah on Ki Tisa

In parasha Ki Tisa (in Shemot / Exodus) it says

When you count the heads of the children of Israel  .. and you shall give an atonement for your souls & there will not be a plague…”  We do not count Jews by a having a headcount. Each gives Half a shekel and they are counted,  in order not to have a plague.  When one counts,  one limits the Berakha.

Another explanation is: The word for count is Tisa, which also means to uplift. When a person uplifts himself and other people by him growing & helping others to grow in Mitzvot, Torah study and giving tzedaka,  he prevents plagues and other bad things from happening in the first place.

The Chofetz Chaim was asked to donate a fixed price for each bed in new a hospital.  He said he would give a large number. They asked how could he afford that.  He replied by me studying Torah,  there will not need that amount of beds – for people will not become ill. 

Venatenu – in Hebrew for “and you shall give” can be read the same way frontwards and backwards.  A person who gives to a proper Torah charity will receive the money back – usually many times more.*

Parasha VaYigash – Talking Kind Words & Not Getting Angry

Using Kind Words

It says in Parasha Vayigash:
*And Yehuda Approached, Let your servant please speak a word in your ears, for you are like Pharaoh…* (Bereshit 44:18) Yehuda approached Yosef to convince him to take him instead of Binyamin, his brother, as a slave. To convince him, he first tried to approach him in with kind words.

The best approach to convince a person is using kind words. Thus he used them first.

Segula Against Anger

Yehuda wanted to remain calm when talking to Yosef.

In this pasuk is an allusion to a Segula against anger – the pasuk recited at a time of anger to calm a person down – in some of the seemingly extra words – bi, na, al, ke. Bet, Yud, Nun, Alef, Alef, Lamed, Kaf – are the first letters of found in the Pasuk of Tehillim 119:9. (Ball Shem Tov).