How are e commerce businesses and traditional high street retail businesses trad
Posted by rycoweb on September 2nd, 2013
A lot of play has been made of the growing E Commerce trend at the expense of the declining High Street presence. There is no doubt that the prevailing mindset of large retailers has been challenged into adopting an online presence to meet current economic pressure on falling sales. Traditional retailers have to think fast and react to falling sales by embracing an online presence to counteract the High street downturn. Laterally, large retailers were quite content to rely on traditional marketing policies in a buoyant economy. Their strategy of filling shelves to the maximum went unchallenged with the maxim of “pile them high and watch them fly.” Due to a sharp fall in traditional sales they have been forced to adopt the opposite strategy which is heralded by the new maxim of “pack them low and hope they go”. The winner in this environment is undoubtedly the E Commerce trader who has provided the potential customer with a much more flexible, convenient and economical way of shopping. The flexibility has provided them with a wider choice of products and services which can be bought with the click of a button and delivered to their doorstep - free of charge in many cases. This is backed up with a free returns policy and friendly efficient customer services response. Traditional retail services represents a huge deficit in terms of High Street shopping when you compare it to the benefits of shopping on line and so an ever increasing number of retailers are responding to the challenge by commissioning an ecommerce solutions London to bridge that deficit.
From a polar perspective many successful on line retailers are acquiring a physical High Street presence to balance a growing trend for the need to bridge the on line and off line experience. Customers on line still like a personal contact and interactive experience and retailers are finding that you can build a customer and brand loyalty base around Facebook and other social media channels. These elements suggest a heart and soul marketing strategy to attract and keep customers in future. They have become so informed about the products they want to buy that customers are often more knowledgeable than the retail sales assistant. The concept of “showrooming”- an Americanised invention - refers to the modern shopper who can be standing in a retail outlet whilst browsing on line, making price comparisons and actually performing on line transactions – suggests that there is a growing convergence between on line and off line shopping. For them it is simply a shopping experience - they are looking for a particular product and will buy it whenever, wherever it is best value and most convenient to themselves.
How will the convergence of E Commerce and traditional High Street trading play out in future?
It most certainly seems that both channels will continue to trade and that further convergence is a future reality. It is a greater transition for traditional retail to implement the E Commerce side of the business but that challenge must be embraced and changes implemented for that sector to survive and continue growing alongside the burgeoning E Commerce industry. What should usher in new hope for the traditional trader having to adopt an online presence is the latest trend in highly successful E Commerce businesses resorting to acquiring a High Street presence to compliment their on line business. The increasing use of hand held communication devices such as smart phones and the impact of social media channels such as Facebook means there is for shoppers – especially the younger generation - much greater interaction between all these channels which can effect a product or service purchase. These technological developments heralds a new more inclusive type of shopping – a mixture of on line and offline channels. There is now less of a distinction between the two formats where you have shoppers who are searching on line for products in a physical store while actively looking at products on the shelves. They will browse the mobile web site and then check to see if that product is available for purchase in that store – which at that point is most convenient for them. This clearly defines the convergence of both sales channels but the traditional store will only benefit from this scenario if it happens to stock the desired product. The convergence is much more natural and easy from an E Commerce business perspective and the onus is on the traditional High street trader to make the necessary adaptations to having an on line sales presence in order to remain competitive in this changing sales environment. It looks very much like channels will converge gradually as customers see less of a difference between online and offline shopping. It is irrelevant whether a shopper is searching on a PC, Laptop or hand held device or browsing retail stores or physically visiting their local retail outlet, it all represents one thing and that is shopping. Convergence will create growing competition, regardless of the format of the store and this will impact most heavily on the small High Street retailer who will have to compete with the World Wide Web bank of retailers feeding off a fast communications network of mobile users with fast internet connections and hand held devices.
With the convergence of online and offline shopping traditional retailers are pressurised most to make the necessary adaptations to embrace both channels.
About the Author:
This article is written by Damien Ryan. He is associated with Rycoweb. Rycoweb is an ethical company who specialise in making their clients/online partners money, ensuring high levels of ROI and maximising profit margins, locally and internationally. They have offices in the UK and Ireland, but work internationally for clients of all sizes in multiple industries.Also See: High Street, E Commerce, Traditional High, Street Presence, Traditional, Street, ShoppingTop Searches - Trending Searches - New Articles - Top Articles - Trending Articles - Featured Articles - Top Members
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