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In 2015, we are witnessing the development of new strategies in the retail sector. From digitalization to hybridization via the web-to-store, here’s a quick recap of new trends. 

The very essence of the retail store is under the spotlight with the rise and popularization of e-commerce and explosion of mobile shopping in recent years. Faced with the challenge of reinventing the store, retailers are reviewing their strategy and not just simply reducing the number of stores.

One of the solutions to the issue of relevancy in the face of digitalization is incorporating digital touch-points in the in-store customer experience. We no longer live in a world where the purchase transaction defines the entire relationship between the consumer and the retailer, but one where entire new shopping experiences intertwined with new technologies take place.

Digitalization

In order to create an increasingly stronger bond with customers, we must replicate the most engaging aspects of online shopping in the store. Burberry is a good example of this digital store concept. In 2011, the brand decided to digitize its stores. Ophelia Chabault from Comdeluxe explains how in a recent article:

The brand decided to go Digital in its stores. The goal: to offer customers a new kind of digital experience and to execute on the goal on various platforms: screens, iPad, Internet… Always one step ahead, Burberry brings us into the age of mass customization…

Hybridization

Others choose to reinvigorate their locations by transforming them into a hub for a community, or a center for collaborative consumption or even an innovation laboratory. David Barthe calls this phenomenon the hybridization of retail:

The stores are repositioning themselves as places of life, talk, and hold meetings, all alongside an array of local products. In addition, the hybridization of the point of sale complements this positioning, making the store a real place to live in… Often presented as a threat to commerce, collaborative consumption may, instead, be an element of differentiation and excitement for customers… Last example of the hybridization of retail: the transformation of the store into an innovation laboratory… allowing testing of consumer ideas born on the Internet and positioning itself as a true retail incubator.

Brik & Mortar Pure-Players

We are also witnessing the opposite phenomenon in the development of physical stores by pure-play retailers such as Amazon. Such reversal of strategy must be supported by cross-channel communication or web-to-store user behavior. Romain Nowincki of Les Echos clarifies the reasons why these web players are betting on proximity to consumers:

The store still retains its aura of reassurance. But that development is as well in line with the trend that sees cross-channel and web-to-retail transactions becoming commonplace. For if these born-digital brands opt for a presence on the ground, they do so from a perspective complementarity.

Three retail trends to remember for 2015: digitalization, hybridization, and the physical deployment of pure players.

And yes… All these types of project can be planned and managed using the One2Team for Retail solution.

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