by Jim Inglis, President, Inglis Retailing, USA
The question must be asked; Is the traditional DIY Brick and Mortar store obsolete with the advent of the Internet? Can the brick and mortar store survive and prosper in the digital world?
The answer to these questions requires an examination of the macro trends in the world of retailing: 1. The market share growth of the e-commerce channel of distribution, 2. The Smart House revolution brought on by the ‘Internet of Things’ and ‘Artificial Intelligence’, 3. The shift from DIY [Do it Myself] to DIFM [Do it for Me] resulting in the increased importance of the professional tradesman, 4. The increased expectations of the customer in regard to their shopping experience and its impact on store staffing and operations, 5. The shift from print to digital technology in regards to communication and promotional policies.
Technology has changed the rules. The customer has new options resulting in higher expectations. There is a world of new opportunities to delight the customer for the Brick and Mortar store. However, these advantages require a shift from product orientation to a service orientation which, in turn, is dependent upon new technological competence.