The impact of the pandemic on digital shopping habits has been both profound and well documented. However, retailers are facing a genuine post-pandemic dilemma regarding their omnichannel strategies and how to balance bricks and mortar with online. As the Wall Street Journal reports in this article, digital only retailers and marketplaces are losing value and many are looking to balance their physical real estate alongside their digital presences.
More significantly, this is not a binary choice. The symbiotic relationship between a retailers stores and its online presence is a delicate balancing act and each business will need a bespoke, and highly agile, approach. Why?
Because today's consumer economy is the Metail economy. Consumers have more power than at any time in retail history. Failure to give them what they want, when they want it and at a price they're prepared to pay could lead to an existential crisis for a retailer.
Digital first is certainly the way forward but it's unlikely it will be ever be digital only...