In recent years, store formats have blurred, with consumers turning to the digital channel across the path to purchase. As a result, the fundamental purpose of physical and digital channels continues to evolve. Coronavirus (COVID-19) accelerated this transformation, giving a temporary preview of a world where consumers only visit stores to transact and turn to digital to shop. This is unlikely to be the new reality, as social-distancing measures loosen; however, the intensity of the crisis brought these shifts into greater focus.
Retailers operating brick-and-mortar outlets will need to rethink long-term strategies to compete as the percentage of goods bought in store will continue to fall. While not a retail apocalypse as some postulate, the essential role of a store is being redefined. The first wave of digital disruption was focused on how stores could compete with e-commerce, but this next wave will hone in on integrating and uncovering synergies.
The article is property of Euromonitor International, a market research provider, and you can find it here.