The Rise of Multichannel Retail

How to connect with consumers' changing shopping habits


The Rise of Multichannel Retail

Seasonal sales were either up or down this year, depending on which retailer you talk to, indicating just how variable the sector has become. One thing is certain: Retailers have learned they must go wherever consumers congregate and engage them there, using new retail formats.

Any company that wants to survive must urgently rethink its sales strategies. Especially in this age of big data, businesses must think afresh about how to capture consumers and offer them customized products and services.

In "The Decline of Main Street, the Rise of Multichannel Retail," published in the latest issue of the IESE Insight business review, IESE Prof. J.L. Nueno reviews the factors that influence the way we shop today, and how these factors affect retail formats. It also looks at how different formats can be integrated into a multichannel strategy.

Six years into the economic crisis, companies have learned that to connect with increasingly elusive customers any channel is good: in a flagship store on a prime shopping street; in a pop-up store calculated to surprise passers-by in an unexpected location; on the Internet; on their smartphones; in social media networks; or combining the online experience with a click-and-collect service, where goods purchased online can be picked up from a local collection point.

The article is based on two major studies on which the author collaborated: one on multichannel retail trends and the other on teenage consumption patterns that will affect the business world in 2020.

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