September 27, 2023

Coun Cilex

Beauty What Else

The digital-physical retail partnership - Retailing Africa

The digital-physical retail partnership – Retailing Africa

by Jonathan Hurvitz. We have viewed the rise of e-commerce, the realignment of bodily merchants and the ‘sweet spot’ in-between: human link and activities.

The rise of e-commerce, although accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, has been in organic and natural momentum for the previous 10 years, fuelled by a marketplace that is embracing widespread digitisation and the convenience of on-line retail. Some have known as this shift the “retail apocalypse” – in which the digital market overtakes bodily retail shops, observing the latter steadily bow out of relevance. But a different university of imagined is that where a brand name has a presence in both of those worlds, it’s not a situation of one replacing the other but instead a realignment of physical stores’ priorities and client methods to perform, in collaboration with their e-commerce counterparts.

When e-commerce has been flourishing in a marketplace that is demanding more quickly gratification, larger stages of comfort, and a wider array of decisions and options, actual physical retail suppliers nevertheless have a lot of strengths. The human link is 1 of them, in which a client is capable to get the information and thoughts of a trustworthy store assistant, for illustration, when trying on an outfit. There is also the “touch and feel” aspect of a product, this sort of as a down duvet or a silk dress, which shoppers really don’t have when shopping online.

These are two of the 4 regions exactly where physical suppliers are in a position to reshape by themselves to continue to be related. The other two are extremely-comfort, and immersive exploration. Ultra-benefit is getting equipped to halt at the corner store on your way home for a bottle of wine to have with meal, or promptly getting a bunch of bouquets enroute to browsing a mate. This, in essence, minimises the time among seeking/needing one thing, and receiving it.

Immersive practical experience is when a retail retail outlet generates an in-shop working experience that just about helps make the retail outlet a vacation spot, and clients purposefully pick out to go there to immerse them selves in the sights, smells, come to feel and often taste, in the circumstance of a chocolate shop, of a retail room. e-Commerce brand names simply cannot produce these in-individual activities.

Building experiential engineering

With that claimed, audio visual engineering is evolving to generate a version of these activities for prospects. Augmented and virtual reality (AR and VR) are resources that e-commerce makes will be in a position to use to deliver some of the in-individual encounters out of the physical retail store and into a customer’s dwelling. Remaining in a position to see what an outfit will search like on you by way of VR know-how eliminates the will need to go to a keep to test it on. And working with AR to see what a lounge suite will glimpse like in your residing area, or a 70-inch Television set mounted on the wall in your leisure location, can slash down on the hrs of buying. This benefit, time- and likely income-conserving abilities are massive drawcards for purchasers.

Subscription results in being a hybrid bridge

One more solution is obtaining a subscription to a products, and then owning the adaptability of remaining in a position to check its appear, come to feel, and healthy in your dwelling – in the situation of household furniture or appliances or a variety of garments in the circumstance of a wardrobe demo – then exchanging it or returning it if it doesn’t match your expectations. This is the design that Teljoy follows, which is a superior example of presenting a hybrid ‘bridge’ amongst the digital and true globe. AR/VR are not yet formulated to the issue of remaining in a position to swap several bodily experiences, and the ‘touch, come to feel and try’ aspect that is so important to human beings.

For now, electronic and physical retail activities and customer journeys nevertheless have their individual strengths, and in the present-day market a manufacturer would be very well-positioned to capitalise on the strengths of the two in get to stay pertinent and provide the demands of a divided, or certainly inclusive-of-equally, range of consumer choices.

Omni-channel optimisation has turn into much more important than at any time, and a steady visible and model message requirements to traverse each electronic and physical retail spaces. Makes also need to have to go deeper into understanding their prospects and their desires and tastes. This enables them to improve the digital experience for consumers who prioritise navigation, broader alternative and options, and quick, secure payment capacity and greatly enhance the in-person experience for prospects who prioritise individual reliable guidance, extremely-ease, the touch-and-truly feel of a product or service, and an immersive knowledge.


Primary impression credit rating:



Jonathan Hurvitz is the Team CEO of on-line retailer Teljoy and a registered Chartered Accountant in South Africa.




– Obtain the Retailing Africa publication each Wednesday • Subscribe below.