In the age of online, with well known high street brands folding one after the other, there’s a fear that traditional offline retail will disappear completely. Whether it will or it won’t, the truth is, to stay in the game, retail does need to evolve.
Do people even still shop in shops?People around the world have never spent more time or money on entertainment. But while the online use and consumption of digital entertainment is growing rapidly, the gap with offline retail is widening. So it’s no surprise that the likes of GAME and HMV are the ones that get hit. Or is it? If you look at the most successful retailer in the US, it’s a company that sells music, films, games and ebooks: Apple! Apple Stores have seventeen times better performance than the average retailer.
Why do the shops need to catch up?
While the overall health of global retail is slowly recovering from the “Great Recession”, the same can’t be said for physical retail stores – think Blockbuster, GAME and HMV. How much do you spend on iTunes, Google Play, Xbox Live, PlayStation Store, Amazon, Bol.com (The Netherlands), Netflix, Hulu, Deezer and Spotify? How many pairs of shoes have you bought at Zappos or at Zalando? That’s money that used to be spent on the high street. You’ve only got to look at the fact that the new PlayStation streams data and games to realise that offline retail that specialises in entertainment needs to evolve - fast.
So what can retailers do to save themselves?
1. Embrace the future
2. Start today! But,...
3. Don’t forget the past.
Industry-changing shifts like the rise of e-commerce will continue to happen, so it’s vital you work hard to stay on the cutting edge.
But don’t forget, the old rules of retail still apply. The mission for bricks and mortar companies hasn’t changed – it’s just gotten slightly more complicated and demanding. The keys to success are bringing digital into bricks & mortar retail, top-quality supply chain management and logistics.
Marketing idol Seth Godin, said, “If you wait until there’s another case study in your industry you will be too late”. So retailers have to act now and start connecting clicks and bricks.
Mike Hendrixen is marketing director at QINQO, a start-up based in the Netherlands. QINQO bridges the gap between on- and offline retail through premium branded gift cards that give consumers the opportunity to buy their favorite digital products in a physical form.