Household brands and well-known high street businesses are slowly disappearing as innovative new technologies and emerging digital technologies disrupt market areas and traditional business models.
These technologies have had a large impact on the value of existing products and services, have opened up whole new markets, and exposed changing consumer needs and consumer shopping habits. Digital disruption is everywhere, happening every day and traditional business models are no longer fit for purpose.
Australia appears to be in the grip of a retail crisis; EB Games, Jeans West, Bardot and Harrison Scarfe are just some of the retail giants succumbing to the pressures of digital disruption. The modern consumer’s buying and spending habits are far-removed from those a decade, or even five years ago, and the retail industry is vulnerable; relying on longevity and dominance in a particular market and the ability to continuously offer discounting is a reactive, but unsustainable, approach to the digital disruption.
Digital disruption is not killing the retail industry, but rather reshaping it, and the industry needs to respond by embracing the changes rather than trying to control them; an apathetic approach to meeting the changing needs of consumers will certainly see the demise a few more retail giants unless there’s a concerted effort made to react to the inevitable disruption in intentional ways.
Even though innovative new technologies and emerging digital technologies are having a huge impact on the retail industry’s brick-and-mortar market, there will always be room for retail. By radically reordering the retail landscape, responding to changing consumer needs, and embracing the endless possibilities of digital retail, even the ‘institutions of retail’ can survive and thrive in this new arena.
Digital disruption is inviting the retail industry to move with the times, be creative, and connect with consumers and their products in a different way. The retail industry can respond positively to the disruption by investing in its websites and mobile apps, establishing an interactive digital presence, delivering a superior online customer experience, spending time and effort on digital marketing efforts, connecting directly with consumers on social media, and improving their online range.
Digital disruption is reshaping the retail industry. Even though embracing the changes may morph the face of the industry into something completely unrecognisable, a positive and adaptive response to this unstoppable retail revolution will not only improve the consumer’s experience with their favourite brands but will also benefit retail’s bottom line.