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Digital: Catalyst of Change in the World of Retail
By: Lyle Smith
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Disruption is the big key word in digital. Always has been. Digital isn't a business, digital is an influence. It is what naturally requires you to think about your business in a new way. 

That is precisely what's happening in the retail industry today. In every sector. Every category. Every size business.

And the results are in. Deloitte just published their extensive research on the subject that reveals a whole new dynamic that’s grown up inside America’s retail stores.

Big department stores. Boutique shops. Pure e-commerce operations. They’re all affected by it.

In short, everything the big department store retailers have been paying attention to regarding digital is wrong. Deloitte found that:

  • 70% of all consumers are leading their own shopping journeys influenced primarily by their own mainly digital research.

  • That means that only 30% of consumers are influenced by store brand advertising.

 

In short, consumers’ digital behavior is driving their in-store behavior in all new ways. We’re coming to a time when every one of us will be online all the time and we’ll never be cut off from our digital information stream. We as consumers are now hunters when they used to be gatherers. They know what they want and where to get it before they go into the store so their behavior has changed. They go in, get what they want, then check out. They don’t wander the store the way they used to.

 

But what does all of this mean, especially considering that, 94% of all purchases are still made in-store.

 

It means:

  • The newer companies - those that grew up in the internet age are generally better equipped to deal with the fast pace of this change.

  • Barriers to entry have dissolved so very small, very lucrative competitors can start up out of a garage or a home office and compete directly with the big guys.

  • The big guys aren’t feeling the impact of it yet, but clearly, the threat is looming and if they don’t adjust and embrace their consumers as complete digital humans, they may not survive.

Just look at the Borders, Circuit Cities and Blockbuster Videos of the world for what could happen. A digital wind is changing the natural laws of the retail world and only the companies that can adapt themselves to the new environment will thrive into the new age.

 


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About the Author
Lyle Smith is owner of Nymble Content Marketing , a creative and digital marketing consulting firm dedicated to implementing the most effective strategies for their clients. www.nymblecontent.com
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