Retail has always been seen as a chameleon of sorts. Forever rearranging it’s appearance to keep up with the ebb and flow of change. And right now, the trends have all retailers on their toes once again, as rumours suggest that the era of e-commerce is coming to an end.
Now, we don’t wish to instigate widespread panic, but in many ways this is true.
E-commerce has always been seen as a separate entity – customers are either shopping in store or they are shopping online. More recently however, we are seeing that this is no longer the case. To put it simply, for today’s customers e-commerce doesn’t exist because it’s all commerce. Whether shopping in store, on a desktop or on the move via mobile, shopping is shopping and the brand, along with the customer journey, is expected to be the same.
Those retailers who are embracing the ‘one brand, omni-channel’ view and are blending their channels together well are the ones who are seeing success in today’s market.
It’s no secret that the mobile is now the most common used tool for consumers and retailers need to ‘step up’ and come to meet their customers – rather than the other way round. But this doesn’t mean that brick and mortar stores are becoming outdated. In fact, it’s the very opposite. Stores are currently seeing a resurgence of sorts, and in many cases are taking the lead in merging the multi-channel experience together.
More and more, the latest studies on what consumers want reveal that a well-integrated shopping experience – across all channels – is preferred.
So, could this be the end of the ‘online/offline’ battle? Yes, it seems it is.
No more in-store against e-commerce – the key to success is accepting that no channel is separate and that it’s ALL just commerce.