Online retail is 'unshackling' customers
Jun 14 2012, 13:15 PM
Online retail is now helping to unshackle customers from their individual locations, it has been claimed.
The internet has allowed marketers to widen their single customer view and reach out to new audiences and Michael Ross, Director of eCommera.com, believes that the technology acts as both a threat and an opportunity.
Mr Ross noted that the internet has acted as a catalyst for reshaping the high street, with customers now able to shop anywhere in the world.
However, he believes that the internet will not complete dominate physical stores, as he believes there will always be a role on the high street for such properties.
Mr Ross went on to say that the true challenge for people in the property market are the "economics of retail", adding that certain types of stores are likely to move their focus to their online operations.
"I think you have to think about this on a category-by-category basis. Clearly, the demise of people like GAME and Woolworths simply reflects that these are categories that are going to migrate off the high street completely.
"For other categories, like fashion or furniture, it's going to be more hybrid models, but no generalisation is helpful here - it varies," he stated.
Now that people are becoming more comfortable with online shopping, many are opting to buy premium products and services via the internet, with a survey by Leapfrogg showing that 30 per cent of households with an average income of £23,000 a year will spend more money on websites this year.
As well as this, 61 per cent of the respondents admitted that their online spending will not decrease in 2012.
This creates a potential dilemma for companies, with many having to choose between focussing on their ecommerce or their high street stores.
Mr Ross has suggested that, in order to satisfy customers, companies should try to leverage both their online and offline operations.
"Brands want a place on the high street, but they recognise customers will come in to touch and feel their products, but then want to scan and buy them online - and that's fine," Mr Ross noted.