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How A Hybrid Model Can Help Retailers Survive The Online-Shopping Trend

How A Hybrid Model Can Help Retailers Survive The Online-Shopping Trend

With shoppers finding much of what they want online, the future of the brick-and-mortar store can seem bleak.

Such major retailers as J.C. Penney, Lowe’s, Gap and Family Dollar, among many others, have announced plans to close at least some stores across the United States this year.

Is it possible, though, that an answer for what’s troubling retailers these days could be a hybrid model that marries digital with an in-store experience? Already some are trying such an approach, as when Amazon opened a Black Friday pop-up store in Madrid where customers could browse, scan the QR code to learn more about any item that drew their interest, and instantly make a purchase online.

“This no-pressure concept is becoming increasingly popular as today’s customer strongly rejects any hard-sell tactics,” says J.J. Delgado (www.jjdelgado.xyz), a former Amazon marketing manager in Europe who led the largest sales day in the company’s history.

“Instead, they favor an environment that allows them to make their own choices based on all the information that is available to them.”

Retailers have been facing a sea change in their customers’ shopping habits for some time now. A recent Harvard Business Review article pointed out that some stores are handling the problem by cutting the number of employees and reducing the amount of training they give employees. But the three Wharton School of Business professors who wrote the article conclude that approach is counterproductive.

In Delgado’s view, retailers can’t waste time lamenting what was. They need to adapt to what is.

“The future of shopping is not in decline, it is evolving,” he says.

Delgado offers a few suggestions on how a hybrid of digital with brick-and-mortar can work for retailers determined to survive in the digital marketplace:

The customer must experience something they can’t online. Shopping has become a multi-sensorial experience that goes much further than a mere retail transaction, Delgado says. It is about replacing the traditional shopping experience and putting the customer at the center of the whole retail process. “The customer wants authenticity and something of real value, not just monetary value but emotional value,” he says.

Store staff must provide the human connection not available online. “That human connection is the store’s trump card and they must play it right,” Delgado says. “Maximizing that connection and combining it with online connectivity is fundamental to creating the ideal hybrid experience.”

Companies must seek innovative ways to manage their new reality. The changing retail landscape is paving the way for deals between manufacturers, retailers and delivery companies to create ‘mashups’ that allow them to combine their strengths and combat their weaknesses, Delgado says.

“Amazon is the main player in this game, as we have seen with their acquisition of Whole Foods Market,” he says, “but many others are following suit.”

One example is the clothing chain Zara. The chain’s London store features interactive mirrors and high-tech facilities, and combines traditional shopping areas with online areas where customers can scan QR codes and make orders that in many cases are instantly delivered to the store on the same day.

“Some see the digital transformation as the cause for store closures, but it’s very possible that this same digital transformation also could provide the solution to retail woes,” Delgado says. “It is clear that we will soon see more hybrid-retail strategies as retailers seek ways of consolidating their online and offline presence to deliver a seamless customer experience.”


About J.J. Delgado

J.J. Delgado, co-author of Think Video: Smart Video Marketing & #Influencing (www.jjdelgado.xyz), is a professional speaker and digital-marketing expert. He is a former employee of Amazon who led the largest international-sales day in the company’s history. In addition, he was recognized as one of the Top 15 unofficial LinkedIn influencers of 2018. He has helped drive the growth of many organizations, including Amazon, Burger King, Pepsi, Hertz, Ford, Liberty Mutual and others.












IRCE @ RetailX: Ecommerce and Beyond

The International Retailer Conference and Exhibition features a staggering 130 sessions on a range of topics and trends in ecommerce and more, created by the editorial team at Internet Retailer Magazine.

Taking place at McCormick Place South in Chicago, retailers will gather at the event known as the “one stop shop” for e-retailers and all their
ecommerce needs.

Keynote and guest speakers from leading retail and ecommerce company’s such as Walmart, Groupon, Unilever, Amazon Business, Express and Airbnb will address marketing optimization solutions, product launches, retail innovations, and more.

From June 25-28, more than 130 in-depth educational sessions paired with 600 vendors will showcase all the latest trends, curated content, and unmatched presentations to meet and exceed all retailer’s needs.

To review the full conference agenda and registration, visit: irce.com

A Look Into 2019 Retail Trends

A recent report from CB Insights provides critical information on 2019 trends within the retail sector that industry players should keep into consideration as they finalize strategic initiatives for the upcoming year.

In the report, private retailers are the spotlight of the report findings as 2019 trends. It is estimated that private label retailers will increase their expansion efforts, in spite of a minimal margins to work with. The report details that the rise in private label has been the topic of conversation for the last five years and the industry will see it coming to fruition in 2019.

Retail stores are now providing more than just a product by offering an experience and sense of culture within the shopping confines customers experience, turning the shopping trips into “destination” stores, according to the report. Apple was one of the brand focus in the report, as the company now offers in-store workshops and courses that create an interactive environment beyond a purchase, ultimately creating a “community.”

It’s also no surprise that technology-driven solutions are on the rise for supply chain management efforts. For the duration of 2018, global trade, supply chain management and logistics news was saturated with automation and technology-driven solutions providing an increased level of transparency while minimizing risks and creating an overall decrease in inefficiencies. For 2019, technology will undoubtedly step it up for industry competitors.

These are just a few of the top trends to look out for in 2019, but it’s safe to say that these are some of the most important in terms of supply chain and logistics management.

Source: CB Insights