Commersations Resource Center

New Trends. New Retail. New Opportunities.

Many pundits assume the end is near for brick-and-mortar stores. Why? Because they see the latest trends—specifically, the drop in retail construction. But these naysayers just might be wrong. Consider Apple stores. Many predicted their demise, but they’re now the world’s most profitable retail space, generating $5,626 in sales per square foot.1

A similar phenomenon happened in the virtual arena with Charming Charlie. They were aggressive, adding 60 to 70 new stores per year. In 2013, the brand leveraged Magento to engage its customers with social and mobile strategies—while continuing to expand its physical footprint. Charming Charlie is now a billion-dollar fashion chain.2

What’s the common thread between Apple and Charming Charlie? They identified, built and engaged their audiences through a “digital lens.” For them, it wasn’t enough to have an e-commerce website and brick-and-mortar stores. They wanted to weave digital experiences throughout their businesses.

The lesson? Differentiate your brand where online and offline activity connect—that is, the overall consumer experience—and you can prove the pundits wrong.

Here’s a snapshot of what we believe will be some of the other shifts in retail, along with some tips on how to make them work for you.

Product-on-demand will grow exponentially.
Prepare yourself to make and ship products quickly for a key strategic advantage.

Consumer-facing experiences will drive success.
Omnichannel engagement will become the new paradigm—start going “horizontal” to prevail.

Marketing cycles will shrink.
Get ready to execute lean marketing budgets against a pre-defined retail plan.

Sophisticated mobile and social strategies will replace brick & mortar space.
Use your warehouses to stock stores and execute omnichannel orders.

In short, to be successful you’ll need to start engaging your customers via all channels—with services such as In-Store Pick Up, Ship from Store, Inventory Availability, and In-Store Fulfillment.

This will be the new “sweet spot.” Are you ready?

1 Businessweek May 20, 2014

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