THE FUTURE OF RETAIL: DIGITAL? PHYSICAL? CONNECTED!
China’s retail market has been described as a “borderless, blurred,and amorphous” landscape, where the line between digital andphysical is no longer relevant. 33% of the country’s total retail ispredicted to come from e-commerce by 2019. Despite the factthat consumers are becoming more savvy when it comes to onlineconsumerism, 24% are still keen on shopping in the ‘real world’:seeing and touching the physical product before closing the deal
online, which further eliminates the distinc-tion between online and office retail offers.
As complex as the consumer touch points anddecision-making journey have become, theshopping process is expected to be simplified.Evolving with rapid innovations and conver-gence across social, utility and retail plat-forms, consumer requirements are constantlybeing transformed and optimised. The idealshopping experience is limit-less, with mo-ments of truth shifting indefinitely from real-time information at our fingertips to intrigu-ing store experiences.
The blurring of online and offline is also evi-denced by the 86.9% of Chinese shoppersclaiming instant online chat is a ‘must’. ‘Ser-vice’ has gone far beyond face-to-face at a lo-cation but is becoming a real-time factor thataffects retail decision- making, anytime andanywhere.
All of this has set new benchmarks for thenext generation of retail. The ideal shoppingexperience will be one that is ‘always on’ andinteracts. Discovery, experience, transactionsand advocacy on digital capabilities all reflectthe reality of China’s retail today.