Online retail sector can face the future with an optimistic perspective since technological advances continues to deliver a much simpler, efficient and transparent user experience.
Amazon and eBay offer same-day delivery in major urban areas. According to the US Department of Commerce Total online shopping is 6.4 percent of all retail sales and they are expected to represent around 10% by 2017.
Physical stores are now working to offer a multisensory store experiences, mixing technology and human experiences.
Looking at big retail leaders as Apple, Nordstrom and Whole Foods it is clear they all share common traits that have enabled their success. But, what are those traits?
Seamless digital integration.
There is no longer online versus physical, but an integration of both. On the hand, one consumer may interact differently depending on the product, her/his behavior, shopping experience,… and ROPO (Research online, purchase offline), Showrooming effects may appear.
Some marketing gurus suggest providing an incredible in-store experience and actually charge for costumers coming into the store, even if they don´t buy anything. It may be difficult idea to take, but in any case, it is clear costumers expect an enjoyable shopping experience and an excellent customer service.
Branding will play a much bigger role, and those physical and online stores should be unique and attract customers.
This integration is the challenge for next store generations. Costumers are more and more urban and tech-savvy. Stores will continue to provide value if they can work in conjunction with online retail to provide consumers with new products, technology and experiences.