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Retailers facing up to the online challenge

Written by Andrew | 31-May-2013 14:00:00

A recent study by the Centre of Retail Research has produced some fairly seismic figures for the retail sector predicting that 20% of retail stores will close by 2018 but the share of online retail sales will rise from 12.7 % (2012) to 21.5 % by 2018 – or potentially sooner.

The study also predicts that 164 major or medium-sized companies will enter administration leading to the closure of 22,600 stores and 140,000 full time equivalent employees. Overall job losses over this period is predicted at 316,000.

The report also suggests that in order to survive many companies will close more than half their stores.

This does not mean that established retailers are abandoning the channel but adjusting their footprint in parallel to developing and expanding online channels – unifying their strategies for both channels – reacting to customer needs.

Aligned with the study, retailers and organisations such as John Lewis, Argos and the Post Office have refined their click and collect services – the Royal Mail and Post Office providing outsourced click and collect services to retailers.

Off the back of the estimated £2.2 billion of value contribution from the online –retail only sector and the unification of retail and online strategies Google has further developed their Google Shop offering so that from June 11th all inventory is paid – removing the free option..

This increases the rationale for retailers to efficiently link their product, pricing and promotion across media channels to maximise the effectiveness of their marketing / sales stimulation spend.

This is something we at equimedia have been aligning with our Feedstream solution - our answer to unifying media and product, price and promotion in real time across muti-media channels.

We are very pleased that Google have just endorsed and published a joint case study on integrating Feedstream into Google’s Product Listing Extensions. This was after Google audited the step change in results on behalf of WHSmith. 

For more information on Feedstream and other value adding marketing services please ask for a free consultation.