No decline in traditional retailing on the cards
The rapid growth of e-commerce is unlikely to put an end to existence of physical stores. Both online and offline platforms will co-exist, becoming increasingly intertwined. However, in-store technology innovations will change shopper behaviours in shopping centres. These are the key findings revealed in the Retail Revolutions report by international real estate adviser Savills.
Retail Revolutions presents an overview of changes taking place on the retail market. According to Savills report, retail stores are being turned into showrooms where products are not stored but are put out for customers to see. The purchase can also take place online in their stores through internet-connected devices provided to customers.
Synergy between sales channels
Retailers are responding to the growing popularity of click & collect services by taking the opportunity to upsell customers coming to their stores to pick up items ordered online. Owners of shopping centres also cater for new trends by arranging for parcel lockers to be put close to their retail schemes in order to enable customers to collect products. Speedy delivery is of overriding importance in the modern sales model. Most retailers focus on organizing their logistics systems to ensure one-day deliveries, and having a physical store helps to speed up the process.
The changing face of retail stores
Another trend on the rise on the retail market is the use of store space for various events.
In-store technology innovations are also being deployed on an ever larger scale. Media Markt in Belgium and the Netherlands is currently trialling Pepper, a robot that transports customers’ products to cash registers. In Poland, mobile apps provided by retailers are moving up in popularity. Essentially, they keep customers updated on products offered and current promotions while returning customers can earn points.
A new shopping dimension
GlobalData estimates that the growth rate of online sales will slow in the UK from 8% to just under 5% over the next five years. As a result, nearly 82% of all purchases will continue to take place in brick-and-mortar stores in the UK by 2022. It does not mean, however, that offline retailing is winning against e-commerce. According to Savills, both offline and online channels will coexist without either being more important than the other in achieving sales.