Dying city centers in Germany. The reason: not recognizing the possibilities

I would like to start this article with a great example  of a Dutch luxury department store, called the Bijenkorf (The Dutch word for beehive) which has recognized the great advantages of combining online to offline (O2O). Germans should learn to look across the border, to discover what the neihbours are achievinf by being innovative, curious, brave and creative.

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There are a lot of discussions about the city centers in Germany. Especially since Karstadt is closing a lare amount of its 170 branches https://www.web24.news/u/2020/06/galeria-karstadt-kaufhof-closes-these-62-branches.html. Many people think that the online commerce is the reason, that more and more brick-and-mortar shops are closing.

This is wrong! The entrepreneurs should learn to adapt our new world, the demands and expections of the, ever changing, consumers. Being brave and creative, reacting on the changing market. And, last but not least at all, they should learn to look across the country’s borders to see what’s hapening in other countries.

Department stores like Karstadt are not modern. They are dull, the havy poducts which are out of date and their staff doesn’t care. Well, there is no staff availbleto get some service. In Berlin there is a branche where on each floor are TWO “assistants” “available”.  if you’r esoluky to find one of the two, their attitude towards customers is unfriendly, unmotivated and respectless.

Especially in Berlin, there is a lack of customer centered mindset. Very youg girls and boys (they are cheap to hire), with absolutely no knowledge abour customer care, customer experience and not even about the products they sell. This is not the fault of the youngsters, it ist he fault of the company. They neitherorganize trainings, not support their staff.

Shopping is quite dull in most shops and, again especially in Berlin, the Customer Expereince is not really exisiting. Goods that lie on shelves or hang on bars like in a ware house. Nothing exciting that triggers customers, like digital and smart features, to shop till you drop. 

The dying of Department stores and Malls is not new

If you haven’t been in a department store lately — and you aren’t alone in avoiding them — you might not have noticed they are slowly dying. And the looming question is who will survive.

Today’s shoppers like their shopping personalized: shoes for the working urban woman, pants for the stay-at-home mom. Department stores, though, are mass oriented — they stock colors and fashion most likely to appeal to a broad set. Their vast footprints across the United States mean it’s difficult to tailor products regionally.

As department stores’ troubles have grown, brands’ urge to be independent has likewise fortified. Brands no longer trust that department stores won’t slash product prices. Brands worry about sloppy presentation, decaying customer service and empty floors as some malls have become desolate. That fear is particularly strong for lower price-point stores.

“The reality is, storytelling, merchandising and TLC, that doesn’t exist anymore,” said Murthy. “Brands don’t get that kind of power from the retailer.”

Read the article here https://www.cnbc.com/2019/08/13/we-are-in-the-middle-of-the-great-american-department-store-shakeout.html

Macy’s is changing it’s concept

  • Macy’s on Thursday will open what it calls a “flexible retail store format” at Southlake Town Square mall in Southlake, Texas, according to a press release emailed to Retail Dive.
  • The 20,000-foot store will be called “Market by Macy’s.” The new store’s space will host “community-driven programming from cooking tutorials and book signings to crafting and fitness classes,” for example.
  • The location will also debut two new exclusive brands, Getchell’s Apothecary, a beauty shop “inspired by retail’s first female executive, Margaret Getchell,” and a food and beverage concept, Herald, named for the department store’s New York City flagship at Herald Square. 

Read the complete article here: https://www.retaildive.com/news/macys-launches-new-store-concept-in-texas/571580/

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If Macy’s and Amazon enter the offline world, by creating experience shops, why shouldn’t the exsiting offline retailers go online and change their shops into exciting places?

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Shopping must be an experience and fun and buying should be”secundary”. Shopping must be cross-platform, to create a seamless customer experience. The old way of shopping is not wanted anymore.

One option, to become resiliant towards e-commerce and showrooming, is to make customers start to practice webrooming.

Shopping must be an experience and fun and buying should be”secundary”. Shopping must be cross-platform, to create a seamless customer experience. One option, to become resiliant towards e-commerce and showrooming, is to make customers start to practice webrooming.

Showrooming vs Webrooming

In the traditional narrative of physical vs online shopping, ‘showrooming’ is the big threat for brick-and-mortar retailers. This is the tendency of consumers to visit physical stores to research a product – see it, touch it, try it on for size – before going home and finding a better deal online, or even whipping out their phone and ordering from an internet retailer, right there in the shop.

Obviously, showrooming is detrimental to high street retailers: they foot the bill of a physical location to accommodate shoppers who end up spending their money elsewhere. But looking at the bigger picture, the devastating impact of showrooming is questionable.

The flipside of showrooming is ‘webrooming’. Also known as ‘research online, purchase offline’ or ‘ROPO’. Webrooming is a trend where consumers check out a product digitally before picking it up at a physical shop. A 2015 report from Deloitte highlights the webrooming phenomenon, finding that consumers who look up in-store products on mobile devices are more likely to buy from a physical shop, not less. And in 2016, Google reported that 82% of shoppers check their phones to research products before buying offline.

So webrooming, as a form of counter-showrooming, is good news for physical retailers. But even so, there’s no doubt that internet sales will continue eating into the high street. In this context, it remains vital for retailers to find the right balance between online and offline.

If it wasn’t already obvious, a multichannel strategy is key. A business can sell primarily offline or online, as long as customers always have the option to buy on their own terms. Multichannel retailers have the opportunity to capitalise on both showrooming and webrooming – but to do this, they need to understand the reasons why consumers opt for either mode of shopping.

With showrooming, for example, shoppers are attracted by the tactility of a physical product inspection, combined with the lower prices and convenience of ordering online. Outside of price-matching schemes, it’s not always possible to undercut online sellers, but buying offline usually means no delivery charge – and multichannel retailers can provide a great in-store experience alongside the convenience of an e-commerce platform.

In both showrooming and webrooming scenarios, consumers are attracted by a real place to visit, real products to see, and real people to talk to. Physical retailers can maximise this advantage with helpful, knowledgeable staff, and the reassurance that there’s always a place for customers to go if anything goes wrong.

What’s clear is that online shopping isn’t so much killing the high street as forcing it to change. Customer experience is everything; and traditional retail is having to adapt and embrace the latest innovations. From online VR environments to robotic in-store assistants, the next generation of retail technology won’t be limited to either online shops or physical locations.

Countering this trend by simply slashing prices will likely be a losing battle. Retailers must find creative ways to offer value to consumers that online-only stores cannot, or embrace the showroom concept by integrating their web and in-store experiences. For retailers who operate in both channels, this could present new opportunities to create value.

Target is a great example of this. They offer exclusive products that can be showroomed in their stores and are made available for purchase on their website. Consumers can get the best of both worlds — the convenience of online shopping and the ability to see the product in person pre-purchase. The future of retail may be more of a convergence of the two rather than a war between them.

The boundaries blur

While competition continues to increase, the boundaries between traditional retail business and other industries are becoming blurred. Pharmacies and one-euro stores now sell everything from sweets to fresh produce; traditional retailers, such as Nordstrom, Arnabu and Urban Outfitters, rely on their own restaurants and cafés, while some companies, such as West Elm and Shinola, are about to open their own hotels.

Online Shop
Brick-and-Mortar Shop
Hotel

Luxury watch and leather brand Shinola is hoping to close the gap between the online and offline experience to ensure its customers “never have to start over”.

The hope is shoppers who visit a physical store will be able to browse online at a later date (or vice-versa) and the website or in-store staff “will already know who they are”.

“Most retailers that say they’re ‘omnichannel’ are not. They’re actually ‘multichannel’,” says the company’s recently appointed CEO Tom Lewand, talking to Marketing Week at Dreamforce in San Francisco.

“What we’re trying to do is create a single-channel experience for the consumer so they never have to start over.”

Hailing from Detroit, Michigan, the luxury lifestyle brand opened its maiden UK store in central London in 2014 and has more than 30 stores across the US, as well as a strong online presence and wholesale business.

A series of technology investments has allowed Shinola to track consumers’ behaviours on the website and in-store, as well as enabling it to create personalised experiences and journeys for its shoppers.

Previously, Shinola would supply an instruction manual with its watches but now it sends a pdf manual specific to that watch, for example.

“[New technologies] really do allow us to customise the journey to who he or she is. Now we can give them that singular experience, so even if they live in the Bay Area [San Francisco] and decide to go to our store in Detroit, we’ll know who they are,” he adds.

Shinola, which was one of Marketing Week’s ‘100 Disruptive Brands’ in 2016, will also use technology to support customers post-purchase.

“In our case, most of our watches last six to seven years with a battery but we can track that. We can contact our customers after three or four years and say ‘hey, why don’t you come into the store and we’ll refresh your battery’,” he says

“We want to be able to deliver the experience that you want and not the ones you don’t.”

While Lewand says Shinola has seen significant early returns since adopting Salesforce’s cloud computing technologies two months ago, he is adamant “nothing, including technology, should replace personal interaction”, adding “not only is technology not a sales driver, technology follows everything else”.

Lewand says despite adopting new technologies, Shinola is still first and foremost focused on the interaction the brand has with the product, its team members and customers.

“We need to listen to consumers and be able to adapt to what they need,” he says. “We’re big enough that we have scale but not so big that we can’t pivot.”

According to Lewand, personal interactions such as touch and feel are still more important to the brand and he would consider it a win if customers don’t notice any changes made to its website since the introduction of cloud computing technology.

“Customers should be more comfortable going on our website now than they were a year ago. If we can do all of this in the background and you as a customer don’t notice, then we’ve done our job,” Lewand says.

Satisfying its customers is one thing for Shinola but differentiating itself from competitors when it reluctantly falls into the over-saturated ‘lifestyle brand’ category is a different challenge.

“The only term I hate more than ‘omnichannel’ is ‘lifestyle brand’ and when you look around our store, well, we are kind of a lifestyle brand. So it becomes that much more important for us to customise that journey,” Lewand adds.

But why do established traders dare to venture into unknown territory? Because they want to keep customers in their stores longer, surrounded by immediately available branded goods. These cross-industry experiments will increase significantly in the future.

Directly to

With the help of modern technologies, anybody can become a dealer today. The easier it becomes to sell directly to consumers, the more manufacturers and wholesalers part from the middlemen.

Just think of Google Shopping, with over a billion products on offer; on online trading platforms such as Etsy, eBay, Craigslist and market leader Amazon, goods are sold by private individuals and retailers worldwide.

This direct selling is a smart move by manufacturers: they can build a relationship with their customers and collect data from them to improve their own products.

Small & Quick

The number of small shops has increased enormously in recent years: former big names like Walmart, Whole Foods and Sears have closed their huge warehouses and opened smaller shops. The trend is moving away from ever larger warehouses towards small and flexible stores

Amazon keeps trying to conquer the stationary trade, most recently in the form of small “pop-up stores”. These stores are not one-hit wonder, but part of a long-term strategy that companies such as Lidl, Tesco and IKEA are also pursuing with their “pop-up restaurants”.

Touch it

Unlike the growing online trade, stationary shops are places where products can be experienced. Samung’s first flagship store in New York (Samsung 837), for example, was designed just so that visitors could try out the latest products. But if you want to buy them, you have to do it online.

Similarly, Google’s “Experience Store”, a store where you can get a taste of tomorrow’s technology and try out the latest gadgets, from VR headsets to smart home devices.

The devices can be touched and tested, but if you want to buy something, you can only do so online via your mobile device.

Virtual & Augmented Reality

Virtual reality is a computer-generated simulation of reality with which users can interact.

Augmented Reality, in turn, is the fading of Virtual Reality into real life, in which an artificially created world is superimposed on our natural perception.

There are now “smart mirrors”, intelligent mirrors that recommend suitable additional products and display relevant advertising when a customer enters the changing room.

The “Inspirational Mirrors”, walls of screens, measure passing prospective customers at the entrance and suggest different fashion styles from the goods catalogue.

On the videos below the options, Augmented Reality offers, are demonstrated. The customer experience is increased because the customer can “try on” the shoes with his Sm,artphone from anywhere without the need to visit the store.

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Online and offline trade grow together (O2O)

Most of the digital brands opening stores sell apparel, which makes sense; it’s a category where shoppers definitely benefit from interacting with the product in person. We’re sure to see plenty more storefronts from these ecommerce brands — apparel and other categories alike.

“We’ll continue to see marketplaces and traditional retailers converge. It’s happening both ways, where marketplaces like Amazon are moving to forms of traditional retail, and traditional retailers like Albertsons are making the move to marketplaces to stay relevant in the digital economy.”

– Greg Chapman, SVP Business Development, Avalara

E-commerce sales are growing faster in China than in any other market in the world.

Since stationary trade is growing in line with the growing consumer Middle class can not keep up, online merchants fill this gap and invest to this end, on a large scale, into their delivery infrastructure and electronic payment procedures (e-payment), which are popular with the digitally affine population.

The turnover in the Chinese online trade has therefore risen rapidly since 2011 from 800 billion renminbi to 5.2 trillion renminbi in 2016, which corresponds to almost 700 billion euros.

Now Chinese traders are working on ways to overcome the remaining obstacles for digital shopping. For example, consumers are often still hesitant about buying certain articles, especially fresh products, if you do not look at them with your own eyes can. E-commerce providers are therefore opening stores as showrooms and entertainment Center. Buyers can try out products here while they find out about them online – and then order them by smartphone and have them delivered directly to their home.

In sparsely populated areas, e-tailers have long struggled to make their delivery service more profitable. to design. Now they are setting up very efficient convenience store networks to
to solve the problem of the “last mile”.

If you want to accompany the customer on his customer journey, a tailor-made personalization is of utmost importance. In the best case, product recommendations must optimally match the requirements of the searcher. In an online shop or B2B commerce system, not only a product, but also its matching variations and similar products should be individually recommended. This increases the conversion rate on the one hand and ensures higher sales in the long term on the other.

Online and  offline combined offer a great opportunities to create a multichannel and seamless customer experience and journey.

Micro retailing

Mosae Forum Mall Maastricht, The Netherlands
Maastricht City Center

These pictures are showing the Dutch City of Maastricht. We are very digital oriented, but we also love to stroll through cozy streets while shopping.

Some of the biggest retail brands in the world are downsizing. 

Ikea – known for its large and expansive physical stores – is the latest name to announce an investment in small outlets. It follows on from the likes of B&Q and Target, which have also experimented with small, super-targeted micro-stores.

So, why are retailers doing this, and what are the benefits? Here’s more on micro-retailing and why it’s a growing trend for today’s omnichannel retailers.

Aligning with online behaviour

We’re constantly hearing that the high street (and physical retail in general) is dying. However, at the same time, it seems like more and more ecommerce companies are opening brick-and-mortar stores. From Birchbox to Casper – a number of disruptive digital-first brands have created pop-ups and showrooms with the aim of bringing to life the customer experience.

It might sound ironic in the context of dwindling footfall, but essentially, these brands are taking the very best of the offline experience (customer service, customisation, and convenience), and leaving the most difficult behind (high rents and unsold stock).

Meanwhile, brands that traditionally operate both online and offline are taking note of this shift to ‘experiential’ retail, creating mini-stores that allow consumers to experience products in-person before ordering online.

This looks to be the aim for Ikea, with the retailer offering online shoppers the chance to interact with in-store staff before ordering online – as opposed to visiting a large self-serve superstore and taking products home.

Offering a limited selection of stock in micro-stores (with one set to open in London’s Tottenham Court Road this autumn), Ikea is able to offer customers more of what they want (and less of what they don’t), meaning it’s unlikely to be left with unsold or outdated products.

Customer Experience should be fun.

Brick-and-Mortar commerce must and will change. In fact it is changing already in other countries. Shops should be places where people have fun. This should be priority no. 1. Earlier in this post, I have written about shops where people can play around with the goods offered.  This picture on to of that section was taken in a Google® Store. But fun shopping istnot restricted to smart devices.

“Widgets Don’t Bring Joy: Retailers Need To Focus On Making Shopping Fun Again

Bryan Pearson

I will go a little crazy and fantasize about how a shopping experience could be.

It’s a snowy Saturday in Chicago, but Amy, age 28, needs resort wear for a Caribbean vacation. Five years ago, in 2011, she would have headed straight for the mall.

Today she starts shopping from her couch by launching a videoconference with her personal concierge at Danella, the retailer where she bought two outfits the previous month. The concierge recommends several items, superimposing photos of them onto Amy’s avatar.

Amy rejects a couple of items immediately, toggles to another browser tab to research customer reviews and prices, finds better deals on several items at another retailer, and orders them. She buys one item from Danella online and then drives to the Danella store near her for the in-stock items she wants to try on.

As Amy enters Danella, a sales associate greets her by name and walks her to a dressing room stocked with her online selections—plus some matching shoes and a cocktail dress. She likes the shoes, so she scans the bar code into her smartphone and finds the same pair for $30 less at another store.

The sales associate quickly offers to match the price, and encourages Amy to try on the dress. It is daring and expensive, so Amy sends a video to three stylish friends, asking for their opinion. The responses come quickly: three thumbs down. She collects the items she wants, scans an internet site for coupons (saving an additional $73), and checks out with her smartphone.

As she heads for the door, a life-size screen recognizes her and shows a special offer on an irresistible summer-weight top. Amy checks her budget online, smiles, and uses her phone to scan the customized Quick Response code on the screen. The item will be shipped to her home overnight.

This little story is fictive, but scenes like this are happening already.

Owners of local shops, must be brave and creative.

The traditional store, however, won’t be sufficient. For too many people, shopping in a store is simply a chore to be endured: If they can find ways to avoid it, they will. But what if visiting a store were exciting, entertaining, emotionally engaging? What if it were as much fun as going to the movies or going out to dinner—and what if you could get the kind of experience with products that is simply unavailable online?

In my home country, the Netherlands, it is not unusual to be offered something to drink. Not because they like the customer so much, but to create a connection and a relaxed atmophere. Not only in posh and exclusive shops, but also in “normal” ones with regular prices.

In China (I lived in Guangzhou for four years) Saturdays are true  shopping parties. An awesome and funny experience. Shop Assistants are standing on little stools with a megaphone in their hand calling out bargains. There is hustle and bustle everywhere and people are having fun.

When buying a pair of jeans, one gets a belt for free or a sports bag or even the second one for free. Shop assistants are happy, smiling and friendly and helpful.

Shopping in Hong Kong is unbelievable. Especially before Christmas. The whole city is a glittering and exciting fairy tale likewise for children and grown-up children.

The atmosphere is very inviting to shop ’till you drop. This excessive decoration is organized and provided by the Hong Kong Tourism Board. They know very well, why they make this effort. It makes people going out to stroll in the streets and malls and to enjoy all the lights. They will be so enchanted and they might find some nice things and buy them. It is so much fun 🙂

“Sun Hung Kai Properties (SHKP) reported 9 million visitors at its 15 major shopping malls during the six-day period through December 26, a rise of 12 per cent from last year. Retail spending at the shopping centres during the period totalled HK$230 million (US$29.37 million), a gain of 13 per cent from last year, according to the developer.”

Source: https://www.scmp.com/business/article/2180037/hong-kong-mall-operators-report-solid-visitor-numbers-and-sales-growth

Concept stores are an experience in itself

Concept stores are a great example of how as shop can be designed to deliver an exciting and extraordinary experience and journey.

Concept stores explained

So, what is a concept store? It is a shop that sells a carefully curated and unique selection of products that connect to an overarching theme. Often they evoke a lifestyle that appeals to a specific target audience – they are inspirational. Handpicked products are pulled together from different brands and designers, and they usually span different lines, such as fashion, beauty and homewares. In addition, the display mixes these lines and products together in an attractive fashion.

Concept stores are about discovery and experience. So the products and design tend to change regularly to keep telling that story in new and interesting ways. Many of them offer extra experiential elements such as a café or events space, which help build a community around the lifestyle they embody.

The exmples , which are sown below are just inspirations to show, how shopping can be turned into an experience.

Image courtesy of 10 Corso Como
Three different outlets combined, to be explored seven days a week

www.10corsocomo.com

The store that the term “concept store” was first coined for, 10 Corso Como describes itself as a “multifunctional space, a meeting place, union of culture and commerce”.

Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, 10 Corso Como’s1200sqm of space incorporates a bookshop, gallery, store, café/restaurant, and three room hotel. Customers can shop for fashion, art, food, music, design and more across the beautifully designed interwoven spaces, and enjoy a break in the rooftop garden.

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Merci Paris

024Merci boutique (2)

More minimal in style than some concept stores, Merci makes the most of the big and bright space of a former wallpaper factory, complete with glazed roof. The store mixes vintage and contemporary, emerging brands and established names, limited editions and rare pieces with affordable items. It also offers exhibitions and events around different themes, whether that’s a designer or a trend, and original design built around that.

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Graanmarkt 13

Graanmarkt is the Dutch, or in this case Flamish, word for grain market

A restaurant, gallery, apartment and store in one, Graanmarkt 13 is housed in a beautiful townhouse in Antwerp. On the ground floor is the store proper, complete with curated fashion and collectables. Above it is home-styled gallery space, which is also used for events.

Having originally been the home of owners Tim Van Geloven and IlseCornelissens, the stunning contemporary top floor apartment is now available to rent. In the basement is the restaurant complete with award-winning chef.

The concept of Graanmarkt13

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The apartment of Graanmarkt13

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The store in Antwerp
The online shop
The restaurant
The apartment

Smart stores: Enhancing the customer journey

With all of this data, stores can offer a level of personalization we’ve never seen before. Knowing the profile of the person in your store – understanding their needs and preferences – is the key to successful retail. Imagine you’re a customer looking for watches, specifically a Rolex Sea Dweller, and the salesperson knows what you are looking for based on the information they have about you. Having a salesperson who knows your taste will speed the purchase process and make it more enjoyable.

Smart stores are using this concept to understand what their customers need by interacting with them to build meaningful relationships and optimize their experiences. A store is no longer just a physical place to purchase what you need; a smart store revolves around social interaction.

Smart stores can also leverage micro-location, which uses in-store sensors to identify long-time customers, access their shopping trends through the cloud, and send them a coupon for a relevant product while they are still in the store. This a very powerful way to engage your customers and enhance their shopping experiences. These marketing strategies can also improve your target audience’s perception of your brand as one that focuses on what is important to them.

Other technologies that smart stores can use include heat mapping, shelf sensors, and predictive maintenance equipment. Heat mapping uses basic visual sensors to track customers’ habits, such as popular store areas, products, and times for shopping. Shelf sensors track inventory levels on the shelves and alert store teams when they need to restock to ensure a favorable customer experience. Predictive maintenance works on the same principle to fix equipment before problems occur to optimize the maintenance team’s work and save money.

Our values and the perceptions and expectations of service providers and their services are changing among consumers

We live in turbulent times. Climate change, disasters, political unrest, famine, diseases, fake news andmigration.

Digitalisation contributes to the fact that we receive more and more information and this tidal wave of often negative input unsettles us and makes us not only insecure but also more aware.

This also has a great influence on our consumer behaviour. We are becoming more critical, want to know where what we buy comes from and pay attention to sustainability, just to name a few criteria.

The “stinginess is cool” (in German “Geiz ist Geil” which has been a slogan which was part of a marketingcampaign. The word “geil” is quite placativ for the original meaning was being sexually aroused) of era is coming to an end. This can be seen very clearly in the food sector. The commercials of supermarkets and discounters are increasingly showing a world in which classic values such as family, nature and eating as a communicative event are lived.

Weekly markets are very popular because the goods there, although more expensive, are also of good quality. Themes such as packaging and sustainability are very important nowadays when you want to “pick up” the customer.

Furthermore, a weekly market is also a communicative event and a personal service is also offered (fun factor when consuming) Products are bought that are more expensive, because we want to eat healthier. Money no longer plays such a big role, because you can afford more.

For some years now one notices, that he commercials of supermarkets are getting more and more esoteric, as I like to call them 😉

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But is’s not only about food. The fast fashion situation makesmoreandmore consumers think about alternatives.

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Healthy food for the body and the world:

the demand for shops that offer high-quality organic products is growing rapidly.

In China, where traditional suppliers are gaining an increasingly bad reputation by selling inferior goods, consumers have recently been described as the most health-oriented customers in the world

Transparency pays off:

modern customers question the methods and motives of companies and demand more transparency and openness.

Companies such as Everlane, supplier of price-worthy fashion clothing, which regularly publishes its procurement channels and price calculation down to the last dollar, are enjoying growing (and profitable) popularity.

Honest, unadulterated campaigns:

Models whose pictures were not beautified with Photoshop show their tattoos, beauty spots and skin folds. Modern consumers increasingly prefer brands that are open, transparent, honest and authentic

A great example

Dove citation:

“We know we’re not alone in this – women around the world are using their influence to advance the real beauty debate, in their everyday lives and across social media. We’ve been gifting these bottles to them as a ‘thank you’ (the range is not available to purchase). 

Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes.

From curvaceous to slender, tall to petite, and whatever your skin colour, shoe size or hair type, beauty comes in a million different shapes and sizes. Our six exclusive bottle designs celebrate this diversity: just like women, we wanted to show that our iconic bottle can come in all shapes and sizes”

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Effortless payment

Everybody hates to wait in line in shops beforebeing able to pay at the cash desk.

Creating an automated checkout system using IoT devices would makes customers happier and more willing to enter a store, especially if they are on a time crunch. It can also save a ton of money.

McKinsey estimates automated checkout can reduce cashier staff requirements by up to 75%, resulting in savings of $150 billion to $380 billion a year in 2025

The video shows how it works

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The demo below is in Dutch 🙂 But you’ll understand.

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Let’s not forget B2B Customers!

Drivers of change

  • Softening of the boundaries between private and professional life. (e.g. not a work phone and a private phone). Both areas should be covered by one device
  • Consumers no longer shop at the store around the corner, but do their shopping online – on mobile-optimized (responsive) websites.
  • The same people who bank online book travel on their smartphones and shop on their tablets.
  • B2C buyer = B2B buyer. Search for a product or service in B2B with high expectations, are the same as the expectations in B2C
  • The emergence of the gig economy, in which previously permanent employees now move from job to job as freelancers, is further fueling this trend.
  • Private people are also on the road for business. Buyers are now researching online and also want to make purchases online, quickly and conveniently

Needed conversions B2B company

  • Putting customers at the centre of our own work
  • B2B business models will in future be determined by end customers.
  • Increased services (product declarations no longer sufficient)

The important human factor in e-commerce. That is why today B2B should be the same as B2C. It is H2H

E-commerce will continue to grow in the coming years, especially in the B2B sector. Both small and large companies are developing platforms with which they can establish direct contact with their end customers (private individuals or business customers). A distinction is often made between business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-customer (B2C). However, this does not have to be – no, it should actually not be!

What (still) distinguishes B2C and B2B?

How does it come to a purchase in an online shop? The motives are usually different in B2C and B2C. For example: In private life, many purchasing decisions are influenced by emotions, in the business sector, the trigger is usually a concrete need.

On the other hand, the repurchase rate and customer loyalty in B2B is higher than in B2C. But experts are certain that the boundaries will become blurred in the coming years. B2B trade will have to learn from B2C in some areas.

“There is no B2B or B2C,” says Bryan Kramer. The business strategist and author of the book Human to Human: H2H declares already in 2014: “There is no B2C or B2B- it’s Human to Human“. Because no matter whether traders work in a B2B or B2C environment and no matter how big the external differences in business may be: in the end it is always “person to person”.

Kramer is convinced that in e-commerce the customer should be the focus of attention, not the product. To achieve this, various set screws can be turned.

I have bought the book of Bryan Kramer. If you wantto read it, you can purchase it at Barnes & Noble or, if you prefer the e-version, at Kobo.com

E-commerce will continue to grow in the coming years – especially in the B2B sector. Both small and large companies are developing platforms with which they can establish direct contact with their end customers (private individuals or business customers). A distinction is often made between business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-customer (B2C). However, this does not have to be – no, it should actually not be!

Effortless delivery

The online trade is dependent on a smooth delivery. Delivery is everything but smooth. Let’s have a look at the ratings on Truspilot.

It is often a stressy situation, when I buy online and I am waiting for my products, for whichI have paid for and therefore are my belongings. Christmas is horror!

During our Crisi, I am at home most of the day, working at my laptop. I get a push message which tells me, that I was not at home and therefor my package was delivered somewhere far away. And when I write far away, I mean FAR away.  I once had to take two tubes, to get my parcel.

I live in an old building, in Germany it’s called Altbau, in a roof apartment without elevator. When I am so lucky and blessed, that the package deliverer actually rings, he will tell me, in bad German, that he has a package and that I have to come down. When I tell him that I won’t come down, because I have paid for this specific service, he will OR start cursing vulgar, OR just leave.

This is bad for online retailers, because in my environment friends and acquaintances are also complaining a lot and some of them don’t buy online anymore due to the ludicrous customer experience.

DHL & Co. seem not to care, although I am sure that they know about this desolate situation. I am also sure, that retailers know about this, and I wonder why they don’t take action. 

When it comes to devlivery options, the handling of the shopkeepers is very poor. They don’t care about the best option for thier customers, they care about the cheapest delivery service for themselves.

As an online customer, I want to be able to choose the delivery service and te possible variations, to be able to pick the service I need. A Scrum User Story 🙂

A great innovation would be, if the online retailers would offer a new way of delivering.

In the past decade, digitization has been the driving force behind the rise of ­e-commerce, the proliferation of groundbreaking technologies, and dramatic changes in customer expectations, all of which have reshaped parcel delivery services. At the same time, the delivery business has been disrupted by an onslaught of new ­rivals, including e-commerce giants and ­digital-native startups.

In many cases, performance at traditional parcel and package delivery companies has failed to keep up with consumer expectations. In an analysis of 500 online reviews of global parcel companies, we found that 219 included complaints about inaccuracies in package drop-off locations. The reviews also included 181 mentions of how complaints were handled. Such service issues threaten to tarnish the industry’s image as trustworthy and reliable, two characteristics upon which parcel companies have long relied for a competitive edge.

Trends 2020

Drone shipment

The impact of coronavirus on the eCommerce business has made every person awake about health and hygiene. People are choosing not to go and buy, instead, they would prefer to stay home and make an order of anything they need. Even people would not prefer any delivery boy to deliver their products. So here comes drone shipping which has already started by Amazon in many country areas.

Drone technology can efficiently deliver the products in local areas to customers’ doorstep without any human intervention. Customers get notified of order when it is just shipped and they can take it away by verifying identity.

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Robot delivery test by Albert Heijn Supermarket in The Netherlands

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Same Day Delivery

This has been implemented by many giant vendors even if it becomes difficult sometimes. Many businesses call it a premium service that charges extra for fast delivery.

According to one source, 41% of customers are ready to pay more for same-day delivery. Companies providing such delivery options have definitely benefited in business.

Shipping Management Software

Managing products in a good format is a must thing. It enhances your business productivity and helps you manage stock and listing of products in your digital store. It helps to keep track of every order and status of delivery.

Personalization

Gifting trends and personalized delivery to third persons has increased a lot nowadays. There was a huge gap between offline shopping and online shopping when it comes to packaging, gifting, tagging, etc. But it has now been decreased after eCommerce businesses have started providing personalization in delivering products.

There are many other eCommerce shipping trends in 2020 going to take place. If you want to stay updated with it, keep following us.

Summarized

This has become a long article 🙂 But (e)commerce has many facettes and there is a lot to consider. But to sum up, we can say, that the brick-and-mortar commerce is not going to die, if the retailers start adapting all the possibilites of in this day and age and react on the changing demands and expectations of the customers.

By being curious, brave, creative, flexible and innovative.

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