Home Customer Journey Consolidation and Collaboration are Driving Better Approaches to Omnichannel Retail

Consolidation and Collaboration are Driving Better Approaches to Omnichannel Retail

by Chelsea Barone
Omnichannel Retail

Consolidation and collaboration have come to rule the day in the retail world. With massive acquisitions among retailers this year – and more on the horizon – it’s not surprising that smaller, physical retailers are looking to up their game to compete with these goliaths, especially in their approach to omnichannel retail.

In this week’s Retail News Roundup, we take a look at retail experts debunking the myth that brick-and-mortar retail is on its way out along with two huge examples of consolidation and collaboration in retail: Alexa/Cortana and QVC/HSN.

Here are some of the retail industry’s top headlines from this past week:

Brick-and-Mortar Renaissance: The Time Is Now For Independents

Dax Dasilva of Lightspeed doesn’t think brick-and-mortar retail establishments are a thing of the past; in fact, he thinks just the opposite. In a recent article on Retail Touch Points, Dasilva explained, “In my mind, it wasn’t ever about the absence of physical stores, but how to make owning and operating a shop more accessible and deliver a better customer experience.”

Dasilva goes on to explain that omnichannel retailing is really the most sensible approach for today’s market. Solely online or solely brick-and-mortar shops won’t cut it anymore, so he offered his advice to independent retailers for how they can stay competitive with retail giants like Amazon and Walmart.

Read the whole story here.

Alexa-Cortana Deal to Boost AI and Voice-Enabled Commerce Markets

Amazon and Microsoft recently announced that their respective virtual assistant technologies, Alexa and Cortana, will soon have the ability to interact with one another.

According to a recent eWeek article, the collaboration will be unveiled this fall and will “allow Windows 10 users to access Alexa’s skills by issuing voice commands to Cortana, Windows 10’s built-in virtual assistant. Alexa, meanwhile, will help Amazon Echo owners keep track of appointments, reminders and other information gathered by the ever-watchful Cortana throughout the day.”

The number of customers choosing to make voice-activated purchases is only growing and this partnership signifies a major shift in the way that retailers are interacting with their customers and how they can embrace omnichannel retail approaches.

Read the whole story here.

QVC to Acquire its Biggest Rival in $2 Billion-Plus Deal

QVC owner Liberty Interactive Corp. announced it will be acquired its longtime rival the Home Shopping Network (HSN) for $2 billion, an acquisition that some might have seen as a long time coming with the rise of online retailers.

According to a recent article on Chain Store Age, “Both QVC and HSN have been challenged in recent years amid a decline in traditional TV viewership and the rise of online shopping. Combing the two companies will allow them to benefit from economics of scale, cut costs and compete better against such retail giants as Amazon and Walmart. The two companies together will rank as the third largest mobile and e-commerce retailer in North America, according to QVC.”

Read the whole story here.

Report Debunks Retail Apocalypse: More Stores Opening than Closing

As mentioned earlier in this roundup, the decline of brick-and-mortar shops is not nearly as steep as many think. A recent report from IHL Group titled “Debunking the Retail Apocalypse” revealed that retailers are opening 4,080 more stores in 2017 than they are closing and plan to open about 5,500 more stores in 2018.

According to Chain Store Age, “The research for the report, ‘Debunking the Retail Apocalypse,’ reviewed more than 1,800 retail chains with more than 50 U.S. stores in 10 retail vertical segments. It found that for every chain with a net closing of stores, 2.7 companies showed a net increase in store locations for 2017.”

While more stores are opening across the country, it’s important to remember that industry leaders must now employ omnichannel retail approaches to these stores. Traditional in-store tactics are not enough for today’s consumer.

Read the whole story here.

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