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E-commerce is dead. Long live physical retail!

08/03/2019

It seems a provocatory title and maybe it is, but data published by IRI, worldwide leader in big data management, make us think about it:

  • Physical stores remain as the main channel in which consumers shop, especially regarding groceries
  • Online sales are increasing in Europe, in double figures in Italy (+42%) and Spain (+29%)
  • Estimates on food and personal care online sales are +54% during the next 5 years

E-commerce and physical retail are in fact two worlds that come together. Talking about online and offline, digital or physical channel does no longer make sense; understanding how consumers purchase habits are evolving does make sense instead, in order to be able to meet users’ exigencies.

The consumer packaged goods market, for example, is undergoing an enormous transformation, aided by growing consumer’s expectancies and new distribution modes.

Which aspects should a company operating in this field take into consideration?

Proposals and customized price

Nowadays, the information collected on purchase behaviour allow us to provide made-to-measure proposals and, in some cases, customised prices, both for B2C and B2B.

Customized communication

Geo-marketing allows communication customisation, segmenting it not only by consumer typology, but also by use occasion, therefore stimulating in-store sales thanks to promotional activities. These activities often arrive by means of digital channels directly onto our smartphone, an object we live in total symbiosis with and from which we rarely move away.

Not only convenience, but also enjoyment

The solution comes through simple purchase itineraries: it does not matter whether it is online or offline, the important thing is that it should be easy and, above all, amusing. The use of gamification (read this article too) is proving that transforming an activity like shopping or selling into a game increases success probability. Customised prizes, instantly ransomable, allow retailers to create an important bond with their customers, which extends beyond the simple shopping experience.

Shopping experience GDO

Vocal orders

The possibility of placing vocal orders from smart devices represents an important facilitation for consumers and guarantees an interaction similar to the one people enjoy at home, by means of objects such as Amazon Echo.

Versatility and speed

Price is not the only incentive for marketing and, if we think about it, many of our decisions are not based on price, but, for example,  on the convenience of ordering from home and later collecting in store (click&collect).

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