Does Retail Have A Future? Yes. Part III

The big story in retail over recent years has been the growth in on-line sales and the predicted death of the ‘bricks and mortar’ shop. Looking to the future, it seems there is hope for the traditional shop albeit there is an urgent need to make it more interesting and relevant to the customer.

At a time when everything seems to be moving online there is still an appetite from shoppers to visit a physical location where they can see and feel and touch the goods they want to buy.

The new type of shop, however, has to be linked to an online retail strategy and have the right look and feel and products to provide the customer with the experience they want.

The secret, it seems, is to be creative in relation to how the customer enjoys the physical experience of shopping and how products are presented and sold.

The key issue is to make sure the physical shop provides an enjoyable and engaging shopping experience that makes the customer want to return.

There is no doubt that retailers, like all businesses, are affected by changes in the economy and the advance of technology, as the customer has greater choice and the ability to buy from any location.

One of the greatest changes is the growth in the use of smartphones, as they are increasingly used to compare prices and buy online even as people are in traditional shops; a term referred to as ‘showrooming’.

Retailers need to invest not only in their ‘bricks and mortar’ shops but also in staff training, customer service and online, mobile and social media platforms.

Customers today want and expect it all. They want to be engaged. They want to trust. They even want to be entertained. And retailers must respond.

It may be true that not every retailer will be able to change to meet today’s hybrid physical-online market but those that do will be successful.

SO, if you’re in the retail business it is time to revisit the shopping experience you provide in your shop and online, as customers want it all.

What about you?

Does retail have a future?

Look forward to hearing your feedback in the comments below.