May 5 by Kamal Ahluwalia

Dude, where’s my store? It’s not a zero sum game, but it might seem that way in the retail world these days.
Online shopping is growing and expected to reach $1.4 Trillion this year @20% y/y growth. Life is good, right?

However, a recent USA Today article listed the nine retailers closing the most store locations. Hundreds of brick and mortar storefronts are being shutdown amongst former brand powerhouses, including Abercrombie & Fitch, Aeropostale, Barnes & Noble, Sears, Staples, Office Depot, JC Penny, RadioShack, and Toys “R” Us.

Retail has evolved, and brands that hope to remain viable must be able to compete across all channels. Those who depend primarily on their brick and mortar locations are taking a severe hit as foot traffic continues to decline and online shopping is on the rise.

This is a global trend. Per eMarketer, “In 2014, for the first time, consumers in Asia-Pacific will spend more on ecommerce purchases than those in North America, making it the largest regional ecommerce market in the world. This year alone, B2C ecommerce sales are expected to reach $525.2 billion in the region, compared with $482.6 billion in North America. China will take six out of every 10 dollars spent E-Commerce this year.”

While most retail chains are doing their best to sell effectively through all their channels, some of them are stretched beyond their core capabilities. Target is suffering through the data breach that occurred during the last holiday shopping season. Since then traffic has declined 20%. In fact, the situation has gotten so severe, that Target’s CEO, Gregg Steinhafel, announced his resignation.

The retail world is facing even more disruption, as the online experience shifts to smartphones and tablets. Chuck Jones provided interesting perspective in his recent article on Forbes, “E-Commerce is Growing Nicely While M-Commerce is on a Tear”.


Brick and Mortar Stores Suffer Without a Solid E-Commerce Solution

And Safeway is going, nay gone — sold last month to private equity firm Cerebrus. Who also own Albertsons. Who also own Lucky. And is now set to compete with Google, which has started a home-delivery grocery service.

Amazon, E-Bay, Netflix, Apple, Google and other e-commerce superpowers are reshaping both the rules of retail and where it all takes place — online.

The good news is that you do not have to be an Amazon or Apple to participate in this new era
of big e-commerce. You can now build a powerful e-commerce presence right on the
Salesforce1 platform, leveraging the platform’s security, scalability and high performance
to get your products to the widest possible audience.

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