In a series of recent studies IBM predicted the future of retail saying that in five years physical retail will beat online. With a bike shop as the example they also said:
"In five years local stores will merge digital with the instant gratification of physical retail to offer a more immersive and personalized shopping experience and make same day delivery a snap."
"Local stores will bring the web right to where shoppers can physically touch it, by enhancing the immediacy of physical retail with a magnified digital experience."
"Cloud based technologies will give both sales associates and shoppers rich product information and reviews and help buyers tailor store inventory to customer demand."
Their prediction is clearly biased as IBM makes several of the solutions they are predicting will be used, but that doesn't make it untrue. The difference I see is that these solutions are primarily built for manufacturers who are also retailers not for independent retailers. I see two ways these solutions are going to be useful for the neighborhood bike retailer:
- The independent retailer becomes a manufacturer of something, owning the value chain (manufacturing, distribution, and presentation)
- The independent retailer partners entirely with a brand. Meaning that they open up the POS, inventory, and all sales data to a specific brand. Essentially becoming a distribution center for the brand they carry.
Thanks for taking the time to read this far. If you found value in this piece would you please consider sharing it on social? Thanks again. Donny