In recent times, there has been a drastic shift in operating methods adopted by physical retailers. Traditional methods don’t work anymore. primarily, this change can be attributed to newer distribution channels introduced by e-commerce. Interestingly, e-commerce has shortened the entire value chain from warehouse to consumer. And here, Amazon has played a huge role in transforming consumer behaviour in terms of buying merchandise, which has ultimately forced retailers to improve their game. The growing footprint of e-commerce giants, including Alibaba and Amazon, will certainly impact most e-retailers and their business may shrink if they do not act smartly. It is the need of the hour to learn from e-commerce companies.
In fact, retail giants such as Walmart in USA are mulling over having a substantial number of fulfilment centres so that they can cater beyond the local neighbourhood catchment areas. Amazon has redefined the entire experience. I have a Whole Foods chain and it has been transformed dramatically. Many new features have been introduced for patrons, including Amazon Prime and a ‘click and collect’ model. Although the buying process has become easy
now and quick delivery to the doorstep has changed the game, the retail experience at Whole Foods has started resembling a warehouse and not a premium retail shop.
STAYING IN THE GAME
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January - March 2020