April 26, 2021
Dropit’s Sales Director Farid Mohsen discusses the important intersection between brick-and-mortar retail and online shopping in today’s retail environment. In 2021, it’s no longer about one or the other but how they can together create the best experience for your customers.
The global pandemic forced consumers to move away from stores and move almost exclusively online. Shopping online is by no means a new shopping behaviour with eCommerce growing year on year. In the past 10 years, online shopping has gone from 5% of total retail sales to 20%-22% last year. This significant change in global shopping patterns means retailers, in order to stay relevant and competitive, must prioritize innovation and digitalization. It is by investing in retail technology that retailers can best invest in their future. In turn, creating a positive customer experience and long-term loyalty.
"It is by investing in retail technology that retailers can best invest in their future."
So what of the traditional store? Given the continued growth of eCommerce and the connected consumer, you would expect the focus to be on these new sales channels. But there is still a place for brick-and-mortar stores. There’s no better advocate than the biggest eCommerce retailer of them all - Amazon - opening stores, to give the sector renewed optimism.
The last twelve months have been extremely challenging to high-street retail. According to the Office of National Statistics, total retail sales volumes fell by 1.9%, the largest annual fall on record. On the other hand, in the first weeks of retail reopening in April across England and Wales, retail analyst Springboard reported footfall across all UK shopping destinations was up 87.8% week-on-week.
It's my view that a strategically placed estate has a significant part to play. In essence, the best of both worlds. Whilst some retailers may not need as many stores, optimising store portfolios so you can maximize your market reach is strategically sound. Enabling your retail business to capitalise on brand awareness, the in-store experience (and the expertise of your sales associates), and the ability to fulfill online orders seamlessly from your network of physical stores. For the customer, this means faster and cheaper delivery, and a connected retail experience in-store, and online. A retail win, win.
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