Can blending online and physical stores help sellers compete?
Consumers in an Internet age have the world at their fingertips. They can buy on the Web, on mobile devices and via social media. They can shop seven days a week at any time of day and buy from anyone anywhere. Some browse the Internet, then buy in a store; others browse in a store, then buy online from a competitor. To survive in this demanding environment, retailers are breaking down the boundaries between physical and digital “channels,” the ways in which they sell and distribute products to consumers. Retailers are blending their operations into a seamless experience the industry calls omnichannel retailing. Growth in this type of selling comes at a time when retailers are facing increasing competition and shrinking profit margins. As a result, they are trying to improve their Web experiences, bring the digital world into the store and reorganize their supply chains for speed. The challenge is daunting and raises numerous questions. Can existing supply chains support growing omnichannel retailing? Can Internet retailing help small businesses compete? Will brick-and-mortar stores disappear?
Giannetto, David, “Big Social Mobile: How Digital Initiatives Can Reshape the Enterprise and Drive Business Results,” Palgrave Macmillan, 2014. A marketing consultant and former CEO illustrates how retailers can use mobile to drive business.
Howard, Vicki, “From Main Street to Mall: The Rise and Fall of the American Department Store,” University of Pennsylvania Press, 2015. A history professor traces the history of retail through department stores.
Lord, Bob, and Ray Velez, “Converge: Transforming Business at the Intersection of Marketing and Technology,” Wiley, 2013. The then-CEO (Lord) and the chief technical officer (Velez) of digital marketing agency Razorfish explain how the merging of technology, media and creativity is revolutionizing marketing and business strategy.
Bond, Josh, “The Home Depot builds an omnichannel supply chain,” Modern Materials Handling, Feb. 1, 2015, http://tinyurl.com/
Gard, Sabuhi, “Meet the small business owners who are profiting from online retail,” The Guardian, June 21, 2013, http://tinyurl.com/
Gustafson, Krystina, “The Incredible Shrinking American Retail Store,” The Fiscal Times, Jan. 23, 2014, http://tinyurl.com/
Isidore, Chris, “Everything must go: There's a flood of store closings,” CNNMoney, July 3, 2014, http://tinyurl.com/
Korber, Sabrina, “Retail's ‘beacon’ of hope: Shopping that's personal,” CNBC.com, May 26, 2015, http://tinyurl.com/
Popovec, Jennifer Duell, “Toys ‘R’ Us Shifts Bricks-and-Mortar Strategy,” National Real Estate Investor, April 1, 2015, http://tinyurl.com/
Stambor, Zak, “Striving to stay competitive, Staples opens ‘omnichannel’ stores,” Internet Retailer, Aug. 30, 2013, http://tinyurl.com/
Reports and Studies
“In-Store Personalization: Creepy or Cool? Consumer Attitudes towards ‘The Store of the Future,’” RichRelevance, May 2015, http://tinyurl.com/
“The Omnichannel Opportunity: Unlocking the Power of the Connected Consumer,” Deloitte, February 2014, http://tinyurl.com/
“Showrooming and Webrooming: A Tale of Two Trends,” Harris Interactive, Dec. 3, 2013, http://tinyurl.com/
“Social Commerce,” JWT Intelligence, July 2011, http://tinyurl.com/
The Next Step
Katzmaier, David, “Samsung shows retail-ready transparent, mirrored OLED,” CNET, June 10, 2015, http://tinyurl.com/
Sciacca, Annie, “Target launches technology lab and retail space in San Francisco,” San Francisco Business Times, July 9, 2015, http://tinyurl.com/
Young, Molly, “At Rebecca Minkoff in SoHo, Interface-to-Face Service,” The New York Times, Feb. 10, 2015, http://tinyurl.com/
Johnston, Chris, “Amazon's first bricks-and-mortar store opens in … Indiana,” The Guardian, Feb. 3, 2015, http://tinyurl.com/
Lindeman, Teresa F., “Department stores, including Macy's, looking for ways to evolve,” The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, July 19, 2015, http://tinyurl.com/
Ramakrishnan, Sruthi, “Deeper back-to-school discounts to hurt teen clothing retailers,” Reuters, July 22, 2015, http://tinyurl.com/
Evensen, Jay, “Allowing states to collect sales taxes from online purchases is a tough sell,” Deseret (Utah) News, July 1, 2015, http://tinyurl.com/
Halzack, Sarah, “The new shopping behavior that is creating big challenges for the retail industry,” The Washington Post, Feb. 11, 2015, http://tinyurl.com/
Soper, Spencer, “Amazon Showrooming Forces Stores to Go Digital on Price Displays,” Bloomberg Business, July 17, 2015, http://tinyurl.com/
Greenberg, Julia, “Tictail Wants To Be Your Global Marketplace By Going Local,” Wired, July 29, 2015, http://tinyurl.com/
Jayakumar, Amrita, “It's not just Amazon and Facebook. Small businesses want to use drones too,” The Washington Post, July 16, 2015, http://tinyurl.com/
Zimmerman, Eilene, “Makers of Custom Sneakers Cash In on Desire for One-of-a-Kind Goods,” The New York Times, July 1, 2015, http://tinyurl.com/
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Electronic Retailing Association
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Retail Merchants Association
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Association that advocates for retailers and small businesses in greater Richmond.
Retail Supply Chain Institute
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Academic institute that acts as a conduit for research between students, retailers and suppliers.