The Battle of the Online Marketplace: How It’s Impacting Traditional Retail

The success of the online marketplace is changing how we do our shopping. In the past, online shopping was dominated by two types of consumers: those who didn’t crave instant gratification and people who were shopping for birthday and Christmas presents. These days, the online marketplace has become much more efficient. With same-day and overnight delivery becoming increasingly popular, it’s not as hard for the average customer to wait for their packages to arrive.  

Unfortunately for a number of brick-and-mortar retail stores, better online shopping experiences are cutting into their profit margins. This has led small companies and big-box retailers alike to come up with creative ways to weather the e-commerce revolution.

 Finding New Ways to Appeal to Consumers

 Pop-up shops have been one of  traditional retail’s secret weapons over the past few years. One of the primary reasons why pop-up shops have been so successful is because they play on the average person’s need to be a part of something exclusive. Pop-up shops are temporary, and have earned their name due to the fact that they quickly pop up in a high-traffic location. Because the average pop-up shop lasts anywhere from a few days to a week or two, people will flock across town to go to these shops in order to not miss out.

Another advantage of the pop-up shop is that it can become a marketing goldmine. Once retailers have customers flocking to their temporary shop to purchase things, managers can then direct them to their brick-and-mortar stores to benefit from further sales after the pop-up is gone.

 Making the Shift Towards Monobrand Retail

 While malls and department stores across the country are shutting down at an alarming rate, companies like H&M, Zara, and Uniqlo have experienced significant growth. While some of this success can be attributed to the quality of the product they sell, a lot of their market share growth has to do with the fact that they are monobrand retailers. In other words, they only carry their products.

 Being a monobrand retailer means that companies like H&M and Zara aren't seen as retailers, but rather brands; and since people have to go to monobrand retailers or shop online at their company websites to receive their product, businesses like H&M, Zara, and Uniqlo will continue to make money in an online-driven market.

 Increased Automation

Automation is a topic that’s been on everyone’s minds lately, mostly because nobody really knows what the future holds as soon as industries become dominated by robotic labor. The traditional retail sector is one of the industries that are expected to experience significant automation, especially as sales decline and companies have to downsize. What this means is that we can expect to see more self-checkout lines in stores and more robots working in warehouses.

 Online shopping and the online marketplace have undeniably changed the way that most people purchase everything from household items to groceries, which has forced traditional retailers to come up with new ways to attract customers, including venturing into the online arena. While it’s safe to say that online shopping has changed the retail industry as a whole, there’s nothing that indicates that traditional retailers will be made redundant in the near future.