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Infographic: Will E-Commerce Replace Bricks and Mortar Retailers?

 

In a digital world, is there still room for good old-fashioned shops? Or are we moving towards a hybrid model?

While struggling brick-and-mortar retailers are often quick to blame the Internet for their problems, there’s clearly more to it. Why else would successful online retailers like Amazon, Warby Parker and Bonobos be hopping the digital fence to engage with shoppers in their preferred environment – the physical store?

Online retailers like Amazon, Warby Parker and Bonobos are hopping the digital fence to engage with shoppers in their preferred environment - the physical store Click To Tweet

Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods Market for the princely sum of $13.7 billion and announced plans to open 450 physical stores demonstrate how online and offline are coming together faster than many would imagine. Few retailers have truly taken advantage of the data from their stores, but the burgeoning online retail landscape is poised to pressure traditional brick and mortar brands to reinvent themselves and develop a robust omni-channel presence which in time may give them higher levels of customer loyalty and a competitive edge over purely e-Commerce competitors.

Some retailers are beginning to embrace technology by adopting a more data-centric approach to energizing their businesses Click To Tweet

In a customer-led retail landscape, consumers expect retailers to seamlessly adapt to the technologies they use every day, and retailers who fail to do so risk getting left behind. Some retailers are therefore beginning to embrace technology by adopting a more data-centric approach to energizing their businesses and helping their customer base thrive. And many are finding out that it is possible to do so without losing their brand identity or compromising the “personal touch”.

While struggling brick-and-mortar retailers are often quick to blame the Internet for their problems, there’s clearly more to it Click To Tweet

Bricks and mortar businesses do have the advantages of face to face interaction, immediate gratification and a palpable sensory experience, yet online retailers have been making hay in another area: analytics. Collecting data and mining it for gold – in the form of shopping habits and demographics – they can generate customer profiles to help them reach customers with personalised content and suggestions. With 90% of consumers stating that they use their smartphone whilst shopping in high street stores opportunity has never been greater for retailers to leverage technology to build additional in-store engagement and personalisation through analytics.

Bricks and mortar businesses do have the advantages of face to face interaction, immediate gratification and a palpable sensory experience Click To Tweet

While this approach is in its early stages, it has certainly picked up considerable momentum in recent years, Despite a difficult retail climate, the John Lewis partnership announced a 22.6% leap in online sales as they celebrated their 150th anniversary as a high street retailer in 2014, with more than three quarters of its site traffic on Christmas day coming via mobile devices. With profits looking healthy and mobile increasingly part of those sales, John Lewis has been developing its ‘Click & Collect’ service to further merge the online and offline customer experience and make the purchasing process frictionless for their customers.

Consumer research consistently reveals that customers are not looking for overly complicated responsive design. They’re looking for simplicity, speed and consistency Click To Tweet

The John Lewis app features a barcode scanner, allowing users to easily check online stock levels of items they’ve seen in store, as well as a simple straightforward way to contact customer services directly (whether checking an order enquiry or request a price match), making customer contact as convenient as possible. As a result of this unified approach, a further 60% increase in sales via their click and collect system was reported.

As a result of its unified approach John Lewis reported a 60% increase in sales via their click and collect system Click To Tweet

Consumer research consistently reveals that customers are not looking for overly complicated responsive design or differentiation between a retailers apps, website or high street stores. They’re looking for simplicity, speed and consistency, and retailers need to address this in whatever way makes most sense for their business and their customers.

These trends, championed by the most successful brands in both online and offline retailing, suggest that achieving success in future retail is an “and” not an “or” proposition Click To Tweet

Directing resources towards mobile marketing is clearly an investment, yet as the success of the John Lewis strategies clearly demonstrate, it can bear significant dividends. Embracing tailored, data-driven technology in a strategic way can rapidly foster and improve customer interaction, and this translates in better sales and higher returns.

Directing resources towards mobile marketing is clearly an investment, yet as the success of the John Lewis strategies demonstrate, it can bear significant dividends Click To Tweet

These trends, championed by the most successful brands in both online and offline retailing, suggest that achieving success in future retail is an “and” not an “or” proposition. Rather than squandering the advantage they have over Internet retailers, brick-and-mortar businesses of all shapes and sizes need to be willing to leverage it with an updated, real-time approach to consumer engagement via mobile and tailored apps. Where there’s data and technology, there’s opportunity, and it’s a more complex picture out there than it might seem at first, as the handy infographic below from Shopping.fm shows:

 

67 Fascinating Facts About Online Vs Offline Commerce

 

 

 


Also published on Medium.