Calling all e-commerce superheroes! The people have shone their distress signal. Empty malls – Credit Suisse predicts up to a quarter of all US malls to close by 2022 – and uninspiring retail gimmicks have left them bored and wanting something fresh and original, so who can blame them?
As a result, shoppers have activated their Bat-Signal. The responders haven’t come from the fictitious world of DC Comics, but rather have been smart marketers applying real-world data insights to augment their retail strategies with e-commerce, a singular move that has had a profound impact on the retail sector. Now, digital is predicted to be the true growth hero of the sector, rescuing shoppers from the doldrums of traditional retail.
Offline is Dying –You Shouldn’t Invest in Life Support
Offline is collapsing under the weight of dead stock and dead ideas, and the decline has been swift. Witness the planned closure of 269 Walmart stores, 100 Pier 1 Imports stores, 36 Macy’s stores, 600 Sears stores, 150 Finish Line stores, and 200 Gap and Banana Republic stores. What are you doing to escape this retail apocalypse? What’s your growth strategy in a retailscape that’s looking more and more like a scene out of “The Walking Dead”?
Retailers failing to better integrate their online and physical retail operations, or find other ways to strengthen their e-commerce chops, have flamed out entirely and declared bankruptcy. While some retailers like Home Depot have succeeded with omnichannels, others haven’t been as successful. For example, poorly developed omnichannel strategies, such as click-and-collect and ship-from-store, have failed to produce lasting digital transformation.
E-Commerce Is Your New Hero
Before e-commerce, shoppers had long needed a new retail hero as much as moviegoers had long needed a new superhero. On the movie front, movie director Patty Jenkins came to the rescue by bringing Wonder Woman to the big screen in 2017 to critical and commercial acclaim. On the business front, retailers that have pivoted to an online-only model or ramped up their e-commerce strategies are enjoying enviable customer experience rankings, and tapping into new customer bases.
It’s been looking mighty good for e-commerce lately. Some project a massive $107.4 billion haul during the 2017 US holiday season alone; m-commerce is set to truly dominate, securing nearly 55 percent of the total. With mobile’s consistent YoY growth over the past few years, this should come as no surprise to anyone.
Overall, US online retail sales in 2017 are expected to hit nearly $450 billion; experts expect those sales to cross the $1 trillion mark by 2027. Sitting pretty on top is likely to be Amazon.com, given that it continues to gain market share, and is expected to enjoy a comfortable 34 percent slice (other forecasters estimate as much as 38 percent) of the holiday e-commerce pie.
With all of this growth, it’s clear that e-commerce must be the Wonder Woman for your growth strategy. Yes, it’s time for a new hero. Rather than this industry shift being an apocalypse for your business, it can be more of a new beginning. Like a great superhero, e-commerce can grab your business and lift off with great speed.