Brick-and-mortar stores are no longer simply a channel for the distribution of products. - They no longer act as the final point in the purchase funnel.
Businesses, especially those in multi-channel retail that operate with a fixed mindset seem to spend an inordinate amount of time, energy, and resources ensuring that any change is incremental.
It's all a bit like getting out that Chinese menu, studying it for 5 minutes and ordering the same thing you ordered last time!
But, all of these challenges are surmountable, provided a company has the right leadership. Hence, the most important challenge and opportunity into the future is establishing effective leadership itself.
So what can all channel retailers learn from where the industry is going, what can they learn from huge successes that don't yet seem to be impacting the 'Why'?
China is leading the way, as such if you and your leadership team don't have a focus, watching brief and looking to test and trial what these huge companies are doing in the biggest market in the world then you might as well pack up now.
Rear view mirrors are for looking at where you have been and what's behind. The windscreen is to allow you to see where you're going, and that Sat Nav can help you get there but you still have to do the driving - for now!
So if your leadership team spend more time looking in the rear view mirror don't be surprised when you run into bumps in the road, which will also end up with a crash.
If you stand on any metropolitan street corner in North America, 99% of the retail you will see around you was built to succeed in the 20th century. Sadly, this means it's built to fail in the 21st century. To understand why, one has to appreciate that the old model for retail relied almost exclusively on paid media and advertising to drive consumers down the purchase funnel to physical stores to purchase goods. *Doug Stephens