Digital has been part of our lives for over 20 years, and it reached its peak by being 20% of our purchases globally, while 80% is still offline. Online and offline are evolving in many industries like the metaverse, AR, VR, and more. The retail sector combined with eCommerce technologies generates a nascent industry called Hybrid Retail, which results from the natural evolution of our society and economy.
Current Retail Market
People love to go out to shop, and they have become habitual in buying more online. On the other hand, the local stores continuously search to bring something new to the table to attract nearby customers. For instance, a major mall chain in the US has started offering curbside pickup, allowing consumers to place orders from the neighboring mall, schedule a pickup, and then drive by to pick up their packages. Over the past year, more efforts have begun to tackle these problems and reduce the supply-demand gap in local commerce.
Nearly 90% of people conduct an online search before making an offline purchase.
Hybrid Retail — A new phase for retailers
The majority of retailers are looking to provide customers with the option to order delivery, to purchase items remotely from the same store where they tried them on, to be able to check whether an item is in stock before they arrive, as well as other features like where the item is located in one of their chain branches, and much more because they recognize the need to quickly adapt to the demands of the new generation of customers, which sounds convenient for any consumer. If you believe that most stores provide these options, think again. Even though these demands exist and are expanding by 150 percent YoY, These demands are now met mainly by phone calls to the store or directly to each branch of chain stores to look up information about in-store products and to place an order.
(Intrigued to know why? I’ll discuss it in the following article)
A win-win deal
Through Hybrid Retail, local shops may take advantage of their physical locations to engage with customers more effectively and build long-term relationships in the community. Hybrid stores will function as an extension of the physical store’s presence with the opportunity to search and buy before you come by, because every physical store has a community of the same customers they service regularly.
15 percent YoY more people are seeking nearby Click & Collect options from stores.
There are a lot more opportunities for the retailers. The market dynamic has changed drastically in recent years and is still evolving. But fortunately, the ones who adapt quickly are the ones who gain customers’ loyalties for generations.
So why Hybrid Retail is so important?