Depend on which part of the world and how advance the economy in specific, the extent for the e retailing is eating away majority of physical retail space, across range of category of product. For instance, giant size mega book store that offering any category of book occupied multiple retail floor space is out of the business at the speed of light, and remain only few that survive. With the e shopping book by keyword search and home delivery, consumer gain the advantage of the speed and cost (since buying online is always cheaper, whether it is physical book or online ebook).
Same trend is on travel agency and online airline booking facility is growing, while physical retail is drop in demand. As those become buy online faster and more efficient than physical visit those retail outlet or physical location. With the massive online self services facility offer and self book, checking and than home delivery in place, consumer do not need to physical visit those places, which in turn save the time for other matters. The trend is further accelerate with taobao or amazon mega shopping store that selling almost anything, make it possible to fulfil most of the retailing and shopping need without physical visit those retail outlet.
First challenge for those who are in the retailing in the past, may or may not fully understood the impact that is coming, in particular top and senior management not in the digital transformation generation. Physical outlet alone is not enough, you need to had digital outlet that capable to serve the new generation of consumer and their changing behavior (whether it is online bank, e retail shop, car auction, travel agency). It more than just setup and host a website of catalog, it also involved backend technologies like load balancing, secure e payment, logistics integration for warehouse and delivery operations.
Most of the challenges for retailing sector is majority of the establish player always in the industry for too long, they are believed what they learn from the past can be leverage for this round of digital transformation (DT). If everyone take note for how the global giant like Kodak, Nokia and Yahoo fall and learn that lesson, you will know that world is changing in the fast speed. Even airport now day is promoting passenger self service from on board check in, baggage drop, boarding check in etc that drop unnecessary man power. Same as well for the transportation toll for fully automated without human. Hotel chain is promoting using their own website for booking instead of aggregator and broker website. Restaurant is encourage for online and mobile application reservation in advance. Education institutions is promoting their elearning and distance education services. Media company is pushing exclusive digital content subscription while majority of advertisement is now target online audience and popular social media website for showing their advertisement. All involve innovative and new way of thinking to strategic alignment the past business with the new digital transformation challenges.
E-SPIN being involve in the digital transformation (DT) and deliver various projects and services for clients. Feel free to contact E-SPIN to explore for the challenges you encounter and what we can team up with your for the digital transformation initiative you had in mind.