While the physical shop is still the main point of sale, it will need to adapt and implement a multi-channel strategy that integrates both online and offline business to take advantage of the opportunities offered by mobile technologies. Mobile is the device most commonly used by consumers to shop online.
The physical shop as showroom is a growing trend in the retail sector, according to a study by PWC. Consumers go to the physical shop to see, touch and try the products they will later buy online. The majority of those surveyed said they have done this at some point in order to find the best deal.
The study also points out that mobile technology and geolocation are key tools in the pre-purchase process; whether it is to search for products via mobile phone, locate physical shops or get promotional coupons.
This opens the door to O2O (Online-To-Offline Commerce), capturing online customers to go and buy in the physical shop. Buying online and picking up the order in shop is another service increasingly requested by people who have little time but are already familiar with the physical shop.
The key is to adapt, spot opportunities and develop a strategy.