E-commerce is booming with companies like Alibaba leading the race. U.S. Census Bureau confirmed that in 3rd quarter 2014, e-commerce sales grew 4% compared to the second quarter (pdf). Total retail sales increased 0.9%. E-commerce Sales as a percent of total quarterly retail sale is rapidly approaching 10%.
Will 2015 herald a further decline for physical stores? For some, yes, but not for those adapt to new retail trends. These three words is just about enough you have to know.
O2O means a symbiosis of online and offline retail. Physical retail outlets have the advantage of immediate delivery. In 2014, Alibaba Group invested US$692mn in one of China’s leading department store operators called Intime to develop O2O solutions. In 2015, the customers will be looking for a multichannel experience, meaning they can buy in a location, choose in-store pick-up or have the products shipped. E-commerce has to build or buy store locations and warehouses, if they want to get closer to the clients. But for a physical store owner it’s just a matter of implementing a real-time cloud-based inventory, ERP and POS system like Erply.
Cloud based applications enable retailers to do their business from anywhere. Laptops, iPad and mobile POS systems are there to help traditional stores keep up with innovation. Now mobile commerce (m-commerce) is opening new ways to engage a customer. It’s not only about optimising the mobile retail websites. Mobile payments will have impact over brick-and-mortar store business. Therefore, Erply’s POS lets you to accept PayPal payments in-store.
Geo-fencing means using global positioning system (GPS) or radio frequency identification (RFID) to define geographical boundaries, and use location targeting. For now, it’s mostly about instant marketing messages, and triggering discount coupons to a mobile device. With the evolution of real-time inventory and mobile payments, the location targeting technology can go a long way.