Hybrid Retail — The ability to shop directly from a brick-and-mortar store online and offline (in-store) using a smartphone.
A women standing next to a store in the mall searching for products with her smartphone
The Evolution of Retail and the Impact of Technology
Remember when Steve Jobs launched the OS-X operating system? Before that, there hadn’t been any innovation in the computing industry regarding how people created software back then. The invention of OS-X led to tremendous change in the industry and the world. Our lives have changed forever since. Developers were able to create programs much faster. The same happened to the eCommerce industry. Today, eCommerce is beginning to play a bigger role in our culture.
The eCommerce sales are now at their peak of 5.5 trillion dollars, which is 20% of the total retail purchases globally. In 2022, 21.8 trillion dollars are projected to be spent on brick-and-mortar stores. And it’s growing 110% YoY!
While the demand for online purchases is increasing and people are increasingly searching online before purchasing offline, managing a website parallel to a physical store is extremely challenging. At this point, this is where Hybrid Retail comes in as a solution. You can see how companies like Walmart have implemented Hybrid Retail features that allow you to locate products from each Walmart branch, order them, and select whether to pick them up from the store or request delivery. However, at the same time, you can also see that the most popular and well-known brands in the world do not implement features that allow people to find products from each store’s branch. (Interested in knowing why? I’ll discuss it in future articles)
With advancements in technology, consumers can purchase anything from any place. But NOT from more than 90% of physical retail stores.
Hybrid Retail is when a physical store allows customers to order their products online from the physical store (literally the products that are on the shelves). From the standpoint of the retailer, it takes skill to manage a website with a constantly changing inventory, handle delivery, and handle returns. And, the most crucial component is to use hyper-local marketing to attract local nearby customers.
Hybrid Retail will greatly improve our quality of life by enabling us to conveniently buy anything from anywhere at any time. It is the future of retail and has countless potential uses.