Several recent retail news, research and trends reports paint a fascinating picture of where retail is going in the future. We’re fortunate to cover retail developments on a global scale like we do here at Cashback Industry News. You start to see patterns emerge where they are not clear in just a single market.
With that in mind, let’s look at the state of retail, disruption and what’s in store, in-store.
What’s in store, in-store?
Two stories really point to the future for retail:
- Burberry revolutionizes Fashion Industry with Bold Move to Unify Runway & Retail Calendars
- We May Have Just Uncovered Amazon’s Vision for a New Kind of Retail Store
I can’t think of two stories that will give retailers a bigger chill yet at the same time offer some intriguing solutions to help them compete better with Amazon or other new disruptive competitors just over the horizon.
Burberry goes from runway to retail instantly
Burberry moved to make its fashion collection available in-store and online immediately following its annual fashion show. Very smart. Very responsive to the impact of e-commerce and the need to rethink your core business model. You’ve got to admire their boldness.
What’s behind Amazon’s bricks-and-mortar strategy?
A patent application update by Amazon, reported by re/code, signals their new bricks-and-mortar retail strategy. Rumors and speculation have been rampant and retailers everywhere are wondering whether the Amazon giant killer may open near their store.
The patent update looks at self-service checkout and service implications in a retail store as opposed to online. What’s interesting is retailers also realize the same customer service expectations are now a reality online too.
What’s the state of retail?
Recent coverage of Amazon’s potential retail store openings led me to a somewhat overlooked but fascinating report from TimeTrade. “The State of Retail 2015” should be required reading for every e-commerce marketer and retailer.
One finding in TimeTrade’s research report jumps out and grabs you by the throat:
“More than 70% of Consumers would prefer to shop a brick & mortar Amazon store versus Amazon.com.”
That’s a bolt of lightning for retailers. It nicely captures why Amazon is looking closely at the potential for bricks-and-mortar stores of its own.
If they build the rumored truck and air transportation fleet of their own, it could dramatically reduce Amazon’s shipping costs by also allowing product pickup in store.
With all the consumer big data Amazon owns about buyer preferences online, they can stock, price and inventory product better than any competitor could ever achieve.
And their retail footprint and operating costs can be a fraction of Target, Walmart, Macy’s, Best Buy or other competitors.
As you research and analyze Amazon’s moves in diverse markets from Germany, India, UK and the US, Amazon makes a compelling story for the retail and e-commerce industry globally.
Summary of other state of retail findings
Here’s a quick summary of other key findings from the TimeTrade report:
- In-store expertise drives purchase volume: 90% of consumers are more likely to buy when helped by a knowledgeable associate
- In-store purchasing preferences span generations: 92% of responding millennials plan to shop in-store in 2015 as often or more than they did in 2014
- Mobile purchasing is slow to grow: Only 13% of respondents have previously made a purchase using a mobile device.
Staff and service count in the store
The implications of this report are very clear for retailers. Knowledgeable, informed and helpful staff make the difference in sales and levels of spending by consumers in-store.
Every demographic prefers to shop in-store, from boomers and millennials to NexGen shoppers. But consumers clearly need a reason to come in and touch the product and then be encouraged to buy.
TimeTrade says mobile purchasing is “slow to grow.” Possibly, but two years ago you couldn’t have predicted the extent which consumers now use mobile devices for research and purchase online even at today’s small level.
In our 2015 Cashback Industry Report, we noted several cashback companies in India – Flipkart and Myntra – had gone mobile-only, closing off their desktop selling. Most major retailers also have their own mobile apps.
Mobile purchasing will explode in the near future, faster and at bigger scale than we can imagine.
What’s next after Amazon?
It all makes for a volatile and challenging time for retail. The smartest retailers may even be asking themselves “what comes next after Amazon?”
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