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Omni-channel to merge online and offline retail, claims GfK

November 1, 2012

Research group has speculated on the rise of offline and online retail amalgamation, espousing the role of technology.

GfK has speculated on the necessity of linking offline and online retail space for local and international companies, as shoppers show increasing participation in online sales and the importance of the traditional high street diminishes.

Referred to as “omni-channel”, GfK describes the process as “just a phase, until retailers actually operate seamlessly between their online stores and their physical stores […] the business needs to facilitate this relationship by ensuring the stores are not penalised for taking a return from an online shopping and should also be credited for the sales related to an item defined as a click and collect sale”.

The research group continues to discuss the proliferation of wireless services within shops, as owners of smart devices begin researching the most competitive prices on location: “forward-thinking retailers understand that shoppers will use their mobile devices in stores to gain access to the store’s website and to competitors […] seeing the smartphone as a means of communicating with the shopper”.

The role of the physical store is of paramount importance to many within the aftermarket, and its decline continues unabated. Research indicates that UK retailers closed approximately 20 stores a day from January to May 2012, and online retail growth outperforms traditional growth four to one.

The Recycler recently spoke with Cartridge World Stoke-on-Trent’s Carl Evans on the franchise’s retail perspective, in which he remarked: “I sometimes feel that it wouldn’t be such a bad thing to see the internet [deactivated] but that’s just dreaming. There’s more to the high street in a local community than actually purchasing product.”

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