L o 6 section 1 the world of retailing 52 placed

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L o 6 section 1: the world of retailing 52
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Chapter 14 / Exercise 1
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placed online or through the catalogue if the customer physically comes into the store. The retail store is not dead and it’s not going away. But it will evolve as the lines between the physical and virtual worlds continue to blur and customers demand an integrated experience across channels. 79 However, providing this seamless experience for customers and exploiting the synergies between channels is challenging. Retailers need to consider how to connect with custom- ers across channels to provide them with an immersive and meaningful brand experience. After all, consumers think of “shopping”—whether it is online, in-store, with a catalogue, or on mobile device—as one shopping expe- rience, and therefore, so must retailers. 80 M-Commerce Customers can access a retailer’s Internet channel using a variety of devices, ranging from a desktop computer to a mobile phone or tablet. Due to the rapid growth of domestic and international broadband access through mobile devices, retailers are very interested in devel- oping m-commerce —the purchase of products and services through mobile devices. In addition, retailers have developed apps—small computer programs—that enable mobile device users to engage in an activity such as shopping. For example, The Brick, working with the development company Imagiu Software Ltd., has an app that allows consumers to scan QR codes on furniture tags and size the furniture against a photo of a room in their home. The adoption of mobile devices by consumers is growing at a rapid rate. According to research con- ducted by Deloitte Consulting LLP, mobile (defined as smartphones) influences 5.1 percent of all retail store sales in the United States. 81 Mobile is a natural fit for the Canadian consumer, as Canadians are adopting mobile technology at a similar pace to the U.S. Many retailers are currently focusing on optimizing their websites for mobile devices. Strategies vary from having a mobile site with the same functionality as their websites, to devel- oping sites that focus on what consumers would mainly need to access when they are out and about doing their shopping (for example, store locations, store hours, store contact information, etc.). According to Deloitte’s research and analysis, the biggest impact of smart- phones isn’t direct sales generated through the mobile channel, but rather the influence they exert over tradi- tional in-store sales to drive in-store conversion and in- store average order size. 82 Seventy percent of Canadians have mobile phones, and 30 percent of these are smartphones, and that number is rising fast. Roughly 58 percent of consumers who own a smartphone have used it for store-related shopping.

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