60 Minutes Does Story on Online Retail Revolution
In part I of this article series, we touched base on the present state of online shopping and e-tailers, as well as the factors that have contributed towards their growth and success, as discussed in the recent episode of 60 Minutes, titled “The Retail Revolution.”
In part II, we take a look at the possible effects of this trend and how other entrepreneurs can market and sell their products online.
In our first article, we mentioned that the Web has grown to become the natural home of commodities, which are essentially what e-tailers are selling online. It’s also worth adding however that when it comes to items from large and established brands, consumers will immediately look at two factors: price and convenience. When these two factors are concerned, the Web almost always has shopping solutions that win over conventional shopping.
Clothing and Fashion
Furthermore, if clothing and fashion products have succeeded in moving online, what about goods that normally don’t need to be touched and felt? That however may soon change, as some traditional retailers have suggested charging “fitting fees” to customers who come in to brick and mortar stores to try out some items, only to purchase them online at cheaper prices.
Shopping Model not Perfect
Of course, this isn’t to say that the online shopping formula is a guaranteed win-win situation for all types of retailers. Jewellery stores for example, may have a difficult time succeeding since the nature of the goods they provide are too sensitive (this brings in questions such as authenticity, quality and the like). Unless if it’s a major name such as Tiffany’s for example, jewellery retailers will have to up their marketing and advertising efforts to compensate their lack of a brand presence.
Issues and Problem Areas
Yet another issue that needs to be addressed is returns and deliveries. Styletread.com.au for example, is the largest online retailer of shoes in Australia, with a superb money-back guarantee and free delivery to customers. However, what many people don’t know is that consumers have begun to order multiple shoe sizes to try them on and return the rest that don’t fit. This of course, raises questions on viability.
The Bottom Line
If there’s one thing that can be said about e-tailers, it’s that the most successful ones have managed to come as close to the High Street experience as possible, whilst compensating in other areas (such as shipping and delivery times) to offset the absence of being able to touch and feel products. Styletread.com.au is one such e-tailer that’s doing this, but it remains to be seen what they will do about the consequences of their offer. One thing is certain though, e-tailing is here to stay and it continue to evolve for the better and Enform will be keeping up with it.