E-commerce continues to grow at an amazing double-digit pace, year after year. This leads many retail experts to consider a future where e-commerce becomes the standard and stores as we know them cease to exist.
At Dx3, Doug Stephens offered a few alternatives to the theory that retail stores will all shutter their doors as e-commerce continues to grow.
“I don’t think that’s going to happen for a long time,” he told the hundreds in attendance for the morning keynote on March 3. “We shop because it’s fun […] and it’s a way to get out in public.”
The best indicator of the lasting power of in-person shopping is the fact that so many online stores have taken on physical spaces to enhance their brand and meet customers. Amazon opened a physical store in February and reports say more are on the way.
“You cannot fully actualize as a brand unless you can build that physical eye-to-eye and that physical bond with a consumer,” Stephens said.
“Every single brand out there has an opportunity to be remarkable.”
We also know that retail is expanding in new ways as physical and digital merge and build on one another, such as VR and putting more digital technology in-store.
Delivery is becoming increasingly important as consumers expectations change. As confidence in e-commerce has grown, consumers are asking online stores to compete on convenience and delivery as well as price.
“The objective or the challenge for e-commerce companies is not to get us to buy things online,” Stephens pointed out, “It’s to get the things we’re buying online to us in this ever-shrinking window of time.”
Amazon’s anticipatory shipping, product subscriptions and in-home technology like Dash are changing how consumers will order and receive goods.
How people shop for things is always evolving, and thanks to the incredible growth of technology and e-commerce, there’s no better time to try something new.
“Every single brand out there has an opportunity to be remarkable,” Stephens said.