Published on in RetailDigital Transformation

Amazon’s move into live music is just the latest in its ongoing diversification and strengthening of its core Prime service.

The impact the company has made on other industries to-date has been disruptive, to say the least, so it’s important that those in live music are ready to move quickly to keep up with the impressive pace of change Amazon sets.

Retail is just one example where we’ve seen the impact digital disruptors have had on countless stores, large and small.

Taking Amazon as an example again: the opening of its first brick and mortar store in New York last month points towards the fact that consumers want to be able to shop with flexibility –sometimes online, sometimes instore – and expect the experience to be seamless regardless of the channel they choose.

However, as the news continues to be inundated with stories about the ‘death of the high street’ as retailers fail to meet shoppers’ expectations, it’s never been more important for high street brands get disrupting.

The challenge retailers face

With a Mintel Research report predicting grocery sales to reach over 11 billion this year, the simple truth is: consumers are becoming ever more at home using digital channels to shop.

As online shopping increases, there is a growing consensus that retailers who fail to meet needs of digital consumers face losing out on a whole band of customers.

Our very own Digital Inside Out research supports this, finding online shopping to be the most valued digital service by almost two thirds (63 percent) of consumers, with one in four opting for digital options when it comes to retail.

In an environment in which the advancement of e and m-commerce has resulted in a wide range of channels available to consumers, 24/7 shopping has become a must-have, rather than a nice-to-have. And because of this, there’s growing pressure for retailers to maximise their online and mobile offering, helping deliver a truly seamless and connected experience.

Despite this, a rise in the popularity of online shopping shouldn’t be viewed as a threat to the high street. Physical stores should be putting in place digital technologies in store and any-channel strategies that improve the customer’s journey. And this couldn’t be clearer with our ‘Forgotten Shop floor’ research revealing 8-in-10 consumers would spend more with retailers that have better technology offerings.

With customers becoming intolerant of retailers who don’t have seamlessly integrated channels that flow from the shop floor, to the back end systems through to the online store, retailers need to find ways to help customers move freely from one to the other during their shopping experience, helping them to shop the way they wish in this new digital age.

The solution?

With an ever-increasing number of channels available to shoppers, it’s important that retailers take an integrated approach and deliver the same experience for customers, regardless of whether they will be making purchases on a device or in-store.

Most consumers will be looking to shop with retailers who can provide the best experience possible.

Only by putting consumers at the heart of the business, personalising the shopping experience and simplifying the buying process, retailers can hope to win the battle for consumers’ hearts – whether that’s in-store or online.

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Rupal Karia

Head of Public & Private Sectors at Fujitsu UK & Ireland
Rupal leads Fujitsu's business serving public and private sector organisations in the UK, encompassing Retail, Hospitality, Public Sector & Government, Manufacturing, Utilities, Telecoms and Services.

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