Rami Jaulus NGG’s CEO explains why shops will continue to exist although most merchandise is available online, and what is required in the retail business in order to adjust to the new situation?
Purchasing decisions have moved from the retail space – stores, branches – to the digital sphere. Customers visit the stores less and less, and decide to purchase by surfing websites, social networks and comparison websites. When to customer arrives at the store, he had already decided what to purchase. The sales man has in fact lost the ability to influence the customer, when the latter had already arrived. One may argue this makes no difference, “a sell is a sell”, yet the fact remains clear – less customers enter the shop, hence remaining and basing the store or branch’s physical space do not justify the price involved in its maintenance.
Today’s store is not equivalent to yesterday’s store. In order to match the two stores, the present store should run a website, be evident in comparison sites, promote itself in search engines and actively post on social media. All these actions together form the store of the past.
All understand they require a website, but this is not sufficient. It is necessary to maintain the ability of influencing the amount of online daily visitors, to “capture” the random cruiser and evoke him to purchase, to have an input in comparison websites and social media critics – all in the name of creating the same amount of opportunities we had yesterday with the ordinary store visitors. The ability required from today’s retailer is borderline impossible for a single store.
The customers will not cease to visit stores, malls or banks, nor will they stop sending their cars to the garage, yet they will carry out this actions in different ways and extents, beyond adopting the ways of the digital world. The retailer, whether he is one of a single store or owner of multi-branched, wide-spread organizations, would have to adjust his store/s to the new situation formed.
These are the main steps recommended for retailers to consider:
- Location – locations would have to alter
- Size – store sizes would have to downsize
- Diversity – it will be necessary to diversify the value offer in stores
- Appearance – it will be necessary to incorporate visual aids into physical space
Watch: London Burberry store offers a multi-channel experience