Daily Dose of iQ: Traditional Retailers' Advantage vs. E-Commerce Giants

Jul 02, 2015 — Allan Pulga

Mobile Commerce Daily's Chantal Tode wrote yesterday (July 1) about how Amazon and eBay are trying to physically connect with customers using pop-up stores and trucks (like the above Amazon "Treasure Truck").

The issue, though, as pure-play e-commerce giants try to become omnichannel retailers, is Amazon and eBay "struggle to deliver the same level of convenience that traditional retailers can harness and which smartphone-equipped shoppers are demanding," Tode wrote.

Tode spoke with Jason Goldberg, VP of commerce strategy at Razorfish, who explained that brick-and-mortar stores like Nordstrom, Walmart (and even Best Buy) are growing their e-commerce business faster than Amazon and eBay can enter and serve the physical retail space. The traditional retailers can deliver omnichannel experiences to customers sooner and more conveniently than the e-commerce giants.

In 2012, Amazon was killing Best Buy. Now, as omnichannel opportunities grow, Best Buy has new life.

This is an interesting development, particularly from Best Buy's perspective. A few years ago, when "showrooming" was the retail buzzword du jour, everybody was saying Amazon was killing Best Buy. And the stats backed that theory up. Best Buy isn't flying high, although it did beat analysts' Q1 earnings' forecasts, but the company is far from dead.

Tode's argument that physical retailers are better equipped to bridge the digital-physical divide than pure-play e-tailers should be welcome news to Best Buy.

"One of the more significant consumer behaviors that has evolved with the growth in mobile is the use of smartphones to engage with a bricks-and-mortar store," she wrote. "This includes the ability to reserve products online try on in store, to complete purchases online to pick up in a store or to browse a retailer’s Web site while inside the store.

"An important takeaway from this behavior is that while ecommerce has its appeal, consumers still very much like some parts of the physical aspect of shopping. Which is where pure-plays, given their nature as digital-only entities, are lacking."

Topics: Wireless Trends, Mobile Industry, Customer Experience, e-Commerce

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