If you read Internet news, you’ll see frequent reports about the imminent rise of online retail; that online will cause the abandonment of malls and plazas everywhere. Reporters and bloggers even use unflattering terms like “brick and mortar” to tag real world retailers as out of date.
Screenshot courtesy of eMarketer.com
But hold on here. The real truth is that ecommerce isn’t even growing 1% per year as far as its share of retail sales overall. So, it’s still small change really.
But what’s really going on out there and what implications does it have for your business? Do you ignore and just try to match some of the online prices? Do you spend much time on ecommerce packaging? Are M-shoppers, qr codes, and showrooming an issue for you? You may need to do more.
Retail Trends to Watch
Multi-channel or omni-channel retail distribution is the big trend. If you ignore this one, then it could hurt your bottom line. It’s all about positioning for the consumer.
And consumers today are influenced by small electronic devices called smartphones. It gives them the impression they can get what they want fast and at a better price, and even the exact model, style and color too. And they’re becoming impatient. They want their stuff “anytime, anywhere, anyhow.” The line between online and offline is becoming blurred for shoppers. New terms such as webrooming and showrooming are revealing that consumers look at shopping much differently now.
Add this to the fact shoppers are making their purchase decisions in-store 80% of the time, and you can see why it’s important to look at any factors that affect their choices.
The Rise of Multi-Channel Retail
Research is revealing that those businesses that have both an online and offline retail presence do much better than their limited presence competitors. Even online retailers, big and small, are moving into the real world with real brick and mortar retail locations in malls and independent locations. The combination of both matches shopper’s expectations and provides better fulfillment.
Also from eMarketer report: Ecommerce and digital marketing teams increasingly understand that they need to drive sales in a channel-agnostic way. Scott Falzone, industry director of retail specialty at Google, noted that particularly among multichannel retailers, “their interest in digital is increasingly focused on driving customers and shoppers into their store locations as well as continuing to have a growing ecommerce and mobile commerce presence.”
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