Multichannel Retail: A Blessing Or A Curse?

Written by on April 23, 2013 in Career - No comments | Print this page

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Image by ell brown

Image by ell brown

In 2013 it has never been easier to be a shopper. Retail has always been big business, but whether you’re on the high street or online the retail market has really stepped it up with providing you with the services you need.

But is this a positive thing? With retail following the digital revolution and making greater progress into the online space, are there inherent flaws and negative aspects that could affect our shopping experience? Here are a few points to consider:

Pro

Online retail is incredibly easy. Gone are the days of fiddly, slow websites, dodgy payment systems and poor delivery service. Thanks to giants like Amazon and eBbay the systems put in place have been refined and improved no end, with security services like PayPal used across the web to make sure your money is safe.

Con

It’s killing your high street. With online commerce taking such a big bite out of the market, the high street is suffering. In recent times we have seen Jessops and Blockbuster bite the dust, with HMV severely crippled by a drop in footfall to their stores. The web can provide quick, convenient and cheap service, and the high street just can’t compete at the moment.

Pro

The choice open to you now is unprecedented. There used to be a time when you were restricted by the shops on your high street and that would influence your buying options. Now the world and its products are open to you.

Whether you’re having your shopping delivered from the local supermarket or getting a custom–made wing suit from the other side of the globe, the internet has made the whole world a shop window for you to peruse.

Con

The social element. There is a certain magic about a shopping trip that is lost cruising the pages of Amazon and countless other sites. Getting out in the fresh air, finding unexpected items and searching out for that special bargain are all social elements in the experience of shopping that are lost to a degree staring at the computer screen.

Conclusion

Though there have been some negative ramifications around the growth of multi channel retailing it is hard to argue with the positive aspects of its development. You now have access to a fast, safe, engaging shopping experience.

Yes, the prominence of online retail may be causing an adverse effect on our high street, but there is a clear advantage to the way the industry is moving forward. It is a shame to see physical retail take a hit, but this set back may cause positive change in the long run, and will hopefully motivate local businesses to step up their game and provide better services for everyone.

What do you think of the prevalence of multichannel retailing? Share in the comments below.

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Grant Bailey is a writer for K3 Retail. Specialising in social media and web innovation, he is also partial to an online shopping spree once in a while.

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