I like to read the retail industry weekly Retail Week.
It does tend to (irritatingly) focus on personalities, awards and similar instead of real life issues facing retailers and etailers but it is also a good general barometer for all retailers.
When we first started to subscribe to it (about 4/5 years ago I guess), the word Internet was a dirty one. e-Commerce was definitely the poor relation and those working in it were not ‘Retailers’ in the true sense. I felt like a spy reading it.
How things have changed.
This week many of the main stories featured etailers, ecommerce, multi-channel. And some of the big names were there prominently talking about their web-sites and how successful they were these days.
Marks & Sparks are slowing the growth of their new bricks and mortar stores in favour of ‘striking the right balance between stores and online’.
The ‘Cookie Law’ was front page news.
Waterstones have got into bed with Amazon to sell the Kindle!
House of Fraser is said to be ‘Driving online investment as ecommerce sales rocket’.
Mamas and Papas are ‘to sell via marketplaces’ in recognition that their own website can’t reach all its target market.
Click and collect is a large part of this of course and one of the initiatives we are working on is encouraging locals to click and collect from our warehouse. Marks & Sparks reckon that 40% of orders placed using their Shop your Way initiative are collected in store so this has to be something all small etailers and retailers need to consider.
I’ll let you know how we get on.