It’s been an incredible year for the retail and e-commerce industries, especially when it comes to local discovery shopping. 2012 was marked by new company introductions, market consolidation, growing social media influence and evolved retail tactics to drive consumers from online to in-store shopping.
And, based on conversations I’ve been having with media partners, industry experts, and customers, even greater shifts can be expected in 2013. Once the dust settles, new business models and retail leaders will emerge, driven by technology trends like mobile and social networking as well as cultural trends. High-touch shopping and local customer engagement will also be making a comeback.
At the encouragement of the Wanderful team, I’ve captured some of my office ramblings into a list of predictions. Hopefully, this will be start of a very interesting conversation.
What’s in Store for 2013
Amazon will launch retail stores: As part of its mission to become the world’s one-stop shop, Amazon is rolling out local and specialized channels and offers such as same-day delivery at its local merchandise pick-up locations. The next logical step will be opening actual retail stores.
Same-day delivery from e-commerce sites and retail stores will become commonplace in major metros: This way, online shoppers can have the best of both worlds: lower prices and bigger selection as well as same-day receipt of purchase.
eBay will emerge as an important local retail company: eBay is turning its focus on regional shoppers. In 2013, eBay will not only continue that strategy, but also offer customers discounts to local merchants based on what’s purchased online.
Commercial real estate will face its own mortgage-like crisis: Predictions indicate that there will be 30 percent (or more) excess retail square footage over the next few years, potentially creating a commercial real estate crisis similar to the 2008 mortgage crisis.
More big retailers will have chain-specific bar codes to combat the ‘showrooming’ effect: Retailers are attempting to thwart lost sales due to showrooming by replacing standard bar codes with innovative chain-specific codes that can’t be scanned by smart phones.
“Daily Deals” will emerge from the penalty box as a viable business model: Daily deals will evolve as a profitable business model, squashing Wall Street concerns by demonstrating an ability to expand sales and profits.