Physical store retailers embrace omnichannel change, GlobalData

Physical store retailers embrace omnichannel change, GlobalData

To withstand the onslaught of online shopping and increase foot traffic into their stores, big grocery players such as Sainsbury’s, Auchan, Walmart, Aldi and Morrisons are re-evaluating their channel sales strategies and implementing in-store technologies such as self-checkout counters, scan and pay mobile applications and unmanned stores, says GlobalData. 

Maruti Patnaik, Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Specialist retailers and department stores are lining up their stores with innovations such as robot assists, augmented reality kiosks, in-store endless aisles using digital screens, and in-store digital ordering services. These technology innovations attract significant investment and unless retailers find a cost-efficient way to implement these technologies in their stores, may do more harm than good. Therefore, the question remains, whether in-store technology innovation is enough, or retailers have to rethink their strategy to remain profitable in the market?” 

To this end, physical store retailers are acquiring e-commerce companies to enter into the online marketplace. Some examples include Walmart’s acquisition of ModCloth, Lidl snapping up Kochzauber to expand its e-commerce, and Nordstrom buying two e-commerce technology startups BevyUp and MessageYes, to enhance mobile app and e-commerce expertise. Furthermore, Walmart is set to acquire Indian e-commerce company, Flipkart. 

Patnaik concludes: “Physical store retailers, operating in any format (large, medium or small), have to expand operations across all channels for maximising sales. This will include launching mobile apps, setting up online delivery services, developing and acquiring e-commerce sites, and partnering with online enterprises. Consequently, multi-channel retailing will be the key factor to remain profitable in the market.” 

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