It’s important that entrepreneurs and c-suite executives keep a keen eye out for long-term trends. The point in doing this allows them to predict the future and grasp potential markets that will keep the business profitable and above water. This is something that many retailers this past decade were not able to do and were forced to make cutbacks and changes; Target and Mexx are perfect examples.
One such trend to look out for is e-commerce- buying and selling products on the internet. It’s a well-recognized revolution. Ecommerce is destined to change the way goods are being bought and sold all over the world. People no longer want to get out of their beds and stand in lines for hours when they could simply make all their purchases online. It’s convenient and hassle free!
What is not certain is how much change there will be.
Where Does the Future Lie?
It looks as though the long-range prospect of brick and mortar retailers is death. These businesses are slowly disappearing into oblivion. From Eaton’s to Zellers to Sears to Sony to Mexx to Target, all retailers have closed some or all their stores here in Canada. There are more to come: Jacob, Future Shop….
The ones that we think are doing well are actually in the process of enacting cutbacks because their in store sales are not as successful as those online. Just a year ago, Best Buy Canada announced that it was cutting 950 jobs in an effort to thin management. The cause of cutbacks was the decline in holiday sales.
How To Stay Afloat
As consumers increasingly engage digitally and make fewer trips in store, there are serious concerns about how brick-and-mortar stores that were once the center of attention and thriving will be able to keep up. Certainly retailers may close underperforming stores and merge locations, but more elemental changes also must occur, such as:
• Turning the store(s) into fulfillment center(s).
• Take the in-store experience to a different level.
• Integrate channels relentlessly to the point that channel disappears.
Retailers who understand their customers, leverage technology, such as Contact Management Software, to evolve the customer experience and focus on their differentiators and assets have the opportunity to thrive.