Like anything else in business, with that steep growth and adoption comes a myriad of challenges, roadblocks, and adoption issues. The biggest challenge? Figuring out how, when, and where consumers want to connect, order, and buy. Retail is, without question, morphing from a physical location (a shopping mall or a busy intersection of a popular city) to a state of digitization. What Amazon started is now being continued by new and fascinating online retailers like Fab.
Driven by analytics, Fab.com is a daily deal site that offers up products with a modern contemporary design flare. From posters and art to furniture and jewelry, its about more than a great price (although sales can be up to 70 per cent off retail) as Fab has managed to create it's own brand, look, and feel that nurtured a passionate community of customers (and fans). Other brands like One Kings Lane (which offers up home decor, gifts, kitchenware, and vintage finds) are also doing brisk and growing business in this ever-evolving segment. These new start-ups are not only churning out millions of dollars in profit, but they're helping to redefine the world of retailing.
In fact, the PwC survey finds, people aren't waiting for stores, but inventing the multichannel experience for themselves as they go along. Because most retailers haven't yet created efficient multichannel models, consumers are working it out for themselves, using different channels in ways that best suit them.
Just imagine for a second if the retailers took the lead, instead of waiting for consumers to adopt. Without whipping out a crystal ball, here's my prediction: e-commerce conducted by smartphones and tablets is going to be pervasive within the next two years. Once it is as ubiquitous as e-commerce is today, it's going to make our current world of e-commerce, mobile, and social media look like a joke in terms of sales, size and people using it.The future belongs to selling everywhere, anytime. Why some retailers are sitting back and waiting is beyond me. Mitch Joel is president of Twist Image -- an award-winning digital marketing agency. HIs first book, Six Pixels of Separation, named after his highly-successful blog and podcast of the same name is a business and marketing bestseller. His next book, CTRL ALT DEL, comes out in Spring 2013.