2014: the cross-channel retailing year – part 2

Part 2 of our end-of-year review

Online as showroom – especially in the field of clothes the online stores replace the shops more and more.

Online as showroom – especially in the field of clothes the online stores replace the shops more and more

Last week, we presented the first part of our article “2014- the cross-channel-retailing year”. It was about the comeback of the shop, the phenomena Multi-Screen and BUTLERS as a positive example for the praxis of cross-channel.
Anyway, today the second part of the most important developments that are in store for the ecommerce in 2014 are presented by this article.

Online is the new showroom

The online stores tend to supply full-range. If customers can not buy every product in any preferred size or version they at least want to be offered the full range online. Needless to say, it has to include an offline availability display. Here, many merchants seem to have a need for improvement. Whether IKEA, H&M or Görtz – the offline-favourites could afford so much more online.

Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today… Same-Day-Delivery is getting serious

The one flaw that still tempers the online-shopping delight is the temporal delay. Customers do not even want to accept that longer – Same-Day-Delivery sends its greetings. However, it is hard to predict how long it is going to take until that cloud-castle of the ecommerce becomes daily routine. Already established makeshifts are for instance the Click-and-Collect models that demand the customer to collect the goods at the shop. That option is eminently efficient for merchants and manufactures because the distribution channels can be used without any additionally occurring shipping effort. Generally speaking, one can say that all concepts that are applied to increase the efficiency will become more important in 2014. Olaf Kolbrück states the efficiency of the ecommerce to be the “Mega-Topic 2014” (“Mega-Thema 2014”).

A strong brand avoids price slump

Still, the business with the price fight remains. That will be some hints harder – also in 2014. The market is growing, the number of stores still increases daily and the price is the most important purchase decision criteria to 80% of the online customers. Furthermore, costly services such as free shipping and returns are standard for many stores. To prevent your own products from a decline in values permanently your brand necessarily needs to be strong. Retailers and manufacturers have to begin here to make an impression on the customers and to outclass your competitors. Online presences have to appeal emotionally, work properly (technically) and they have to be fast (keyword: responsive design). Brands – even retailer brands – have to be positioned strongly online as well as offline to stand up in the hard competitive battle.

Approach the customer as an individual

According to Kolbrück’s statements another trend that helps online stores with being unique is the full personalization of customer accounts. By using precisely fitting product suggestions that are responsive to the individual demands of the customer the desires shall be generated and sales potentials are to be created. Here, too, customer expectations, are to be (over-) achieved, customer relationships are to be strengthened and thus long-ranging, successful relationships are to be built.

All in all one can say that the digitalization is going to do one thing above all in 2014 again: it will bring consumers, manufacturers and merchants closer together. That trend can pay off for all participants, because solid and long-range relationships will be the most important factor of success – also in the next year.