Advertise with fastmoving.co.za
 
 

Online shopping blasting holes in traditional retailer profits
Online shopping blasting holes in traditional retailer profits

Online shopping blasting holes in traditional retailer profits

RETAILER NEWS

bdlive.co.za - Jan 25th 2017, 10:11

Faster, cheaper and more convenient online alternatives stalk traditional retail sector 

A deadly but invisible hitman is targeting traditional retail departments and chain stores across the country.

Edcon, SA’s largest nonfood retailer, remains in the intensive care unit as its new owners painstakingly try to stop the bleed of customers to new technology and competition.

Stuttafords, once the grande dame of SA’s department stores, is on life support, having voluntarily submitted itself for business rescue proceedings. Its rescue plan will be presented in February following the festive trading season.

Trading updates from listed players Woolworths, Truworths and Mr Price Group showed poor performances last year, suggesting that shoppers might be spending elsewhere.

While reduced discretionary income and a tightened credit environment are the widely acknowledged culprits, underwhelming financial results from traditional retailers also indicate that customers’ shopping habits are changing.

Julia Ahlfeldt, a certified customer experience professional, said what was happening to retailers was not dissimilar to what happened to travel agents years ago and to the publishing industry more recently.

"Online alternatives that are faster, cheaper and more convenient have significantly changed how these sectors do business. Retail is simply the next in line," said Ahlfeldt.

She said to compete for their share of wallet, traditional retailers had to develop strategies that embraced digital as the touch point of choice while providing compelling in-store experiences that drove traffic to their bricks-and-mortar locations.

"Consumers — particularly those in higher-income segments – are savvier and more connected than ever before. Gridlock traffic, queues and mall crowds, coupled with poor in-store service and limited product availability, make armchair shopping a more convenient and appealing alternative," Ahlfeldt said.

A Nielsen survey on mobile shopping, banking as well as payments points to a rise in online transactions.

The survey, which polled online consumers across 63 countries, showed that South Africans were outpacing other countries in terms of online mobile adoption.

"Mobile commerce has enormous implications for the entire retail ecosystem," said Nielsen SA country head Bryan Sun. He said mobile devices were not only bringing new consumers into the modern, connected economy but were also enabling a more customised experience, as products and services could be more closely tailored to behaviours, needs, and preferences.

"But driving higher adoption and usage starts when companies develop a deep understanding of how consumers are shopping," he said.
© BusinessLIVE MMXVII 

Related News

The changing UX and CX landscape
13/09/2019 - 16:16
An exceptional customer experience (CX) builds a foundation of loyalty and trust. Similarly, a positive user experience (UX) encourages brand connections with people wanting to come back for more. And yet, local organisations must learn to embrace these more effectively to differentiate themselves from their competitors.

Improving your restaurant's ambience with these 5 tips
13/09/2019 - 09:44
Owning a restaurant is much more than ensuring that your guests are well-fed. It is about the experience you offer your customers. For instance, have you ever been to a restaurant where everything is just right? And by everything, we mean the decor, lighting, food, and music. This is the first impression you should aim to achieve as a restaurant owner.

Footgear gets go-ahead to buy Edcon's footwear brands
13/09/2019 - 09:24
Footgear, the South African retailer of branded and non-branded footwear, on Thursday received the green light to purchase the assets and business associated with Edcon Limited’s Edgars Active and High Key brands.

Ackermans launches A-list Summer collection
12/09/2019 - 11:08
With winter’s icy grip on the country, it's hard to believe that summer is around the corner. The onset of warmer days means that it’s almost time to ditch the winter wardrobe and embrace a lighter, brighter one. However, selecting a summer wardrobe can be a daunting experience, as consumers are spoilt for choice and simply don’t have the time to sift through the top trends - particularly when on a budget.

Online shopping business to shake up retail sector
12/09/2019 - 09:40
Allsale Club is a members-only online shopping business that aims to save consumers money on everything from everyday branded items to luxury items.