The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday (Oct. 9) that Amazon is opening its "first brick-and-mortar outlet in its 20 year history" just in time for the holidays.
Yesterday (Oct. 8), PC World reported on Facebook's new location-based ads, which will pop up based on whether you've walked near a physical store being advertised.
The big news in tech and retail yesterday: eBay is separating itself from PayPal. As a point-of-sale software provider, we have followed PayPal's activity closely over the years, as the company attempted to break through from online payments to in-store ones.
Forbes published an article about improving online checkout processes today, with some interesting stats about shopping cart abandonment. Most notably, 68% of people who put something in an online shopping cart leave without making a purchase. (Source: Baymard Institute)
About 6 weeks ago (July 21), we blogged about Facebook launching a "buy" button. Today, the WSJ reported Twitter is testing a similar button.
Tech Times reported on Friday (Aug. 29) about Like2Buy, a platform created by Curalate, which allows Instagram users to purchase what they see on their Instagram feeds. Nordstrom, Target and Charlotte Russe are the first companies to get on board.
VentureBeat reported today on a NASDAQ study that speaks to the disruption in retail caused by e-commerce.
Forbes contributor and Retail Minded founder Nicole Leinbach-Reyhle wrote Saturday (Aug. 23) about PriceWaiter, a startup that creates a “Name Your Price” button for a business’ website -- basically turning any e-commerce site into something like Priceline or eBay (see above screenshot from PriceWaiter website).
Last week, we blogged about Spring, an app that basically refers users to fashion brands’ e-commerce (and m-commerce) sites. Sort of along the same lines, TechCrunch wrote yesterday (Aug. 21) about an app called Gleam.
It really comes down to the types of goods that would determine the success of retailers who mix online and in-store.
It’s interesting to note what types of retailers would fall somewhere in the middle and would benefit from a strong blend of in-store and online strategies. It really comes down to the types of goods that would determine the success of retailers who mix online and in-store. My thoughts on the kinds of goods that would be great for the mix are:
- Goods that are not commodities. If there are physical differentiators for a product set, then it becomes more important to have a physical store channel for consumers to validate a choice that they might make online.
- Goods that are actually physical. Music is essentially a virtual ‘product’. The distribution lends itself to a strictly electronic form. Books are another example of this class of virtual product.
- Fashion is a prime industry for an online and in-store mix. The goods are differentiated physically in terms of cut, material, and colors.
- Technical physical products are another category that benefit from an online and in-store presence - gear that requires good maneuverability or feels good in the hand.
Perhaps another way to think about it is - what kinds of products carry a higher risk of disappointing the customer if they only ever had exposure to it online?
Physical stores can offer consumers experiences that are difficult to replicate online.
The future of retail is not deciding between physical or online but finding a way to bring the best of both experiences together.
Yesterday (Aug. 14), VentureBeat reported on Spring, a brand-new iOS app that promotes fashion brands directly to consumers. The app curates "lifestyle imagery" of selected products to appeal to users and of course, to generate sales.
Yesterday (Aug.12), TechCrunch reported on VMBeacons (short for Visual Merchandising Beacons), mannequins that send product/purchase info for the clothes they're displaying to shoppers' phones using BLE/iBeacon technology. (See above photo.)
RetailWire reported today on a promotion Target ran in late July offering $10 off any online order of $40 or more if the customer chose in-store pickup.