Digital shopping, brick-and-mortar stores that complement online channels to become more prominent in U.K. retail market; retailers must make strategic investments to remain on top, says Retailtopia panel

Cindy Allen

Cindy Allen

Mar 19, 2012 – Industry Intelligence

LOS ANGELES , March 16, 2012 () – According to a panel of experts assembled as part of BT Group Plc.’s Retailtopia project, digital shopping and brick-and-mortar stores that complement online channels will most likely become an increasingly prominent part of the U.K. retail market, Internet Retailing reported March 16.

These brick-and-mortar stores will have constant stock availability, unrestricted shopping hours, instant online content, contactless payment upon the point of arrival and same-day delivery. People at these stores will not have to worry about standing in lines, and the stores will likely link with customers prior to their arrival, the panel predicted.

The panel said that retail success domestically would likely lead to new international opportunities, and that retailers must make strategic investments in order to remain on top. There is a danger that retailers will not make the necessary investments.

In addition, the panel predicted that by 2020, consumer retail experiences will be more interactive, customized and personal; multi-channel retail experiences will become more common and consumers will be less constrained by geographical boundaries. Top retailers will have reduced customer-waiting times both for online delivery and in-store encounters, and physical stores will employ wireless technology.

The panel predicted that consumers will become more confident that their payment providers are able to protect them from cyber-crime; retailers will increasingly employ on-demand cloud-based services and retailers’ costs for fulfillment of online deliveries will be reduced as a result of increased cooperation with supply chain partners and automation. Social media will become an important tool for shaping consumers’ perceptions of a particular brand.

The primary source of this article is Internet Retailing, London, England, on March 16, 2012.

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