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 KAPITEL 12 /  MEDIEN & ENTWICKLUNGEN

CONNECTED RETAIL &

DER INTERAKTIVE KUNDE

PHOTOGRAPHER // STEFEN CHOW, CHINA

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 and physical is no longer relevant. 33% of the country’s total retail is predicted to come from e-commerce by 2019. Despite the fact that consumers are becoming more savvy when it comes to online consumerism, 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 and decision-making journey have become, the shopping process is expected to be simplified. Evolving with rapid innovations and conver- gence across social, utility and retail plat- forms, consumer requirements are constantly being transformed and optimised. The ideal shopping 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 shoppers claiming 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 that affects retail decision- making, anytime and anywhere.

All of this has set new benchmarks for the next generation of retail. The ideal shopping experience will be one that is ‘always on’ and interacts. Discovery, experience, transactions and advocacy on digital capabilities all reflect the reality of China’s retail today.

AUTHOR // CONNIE HO, HEAD OF PLANNING, SERVICEPLAN CHINA/SHANGHAI