There has been a considerable change in retail shopping over the last few years. Consumers’ purchasing behavior has changed significantly. So, it is essential for retailers to adapt to these changes and provide their customers with necessary services. This will not only help them to survive the changes, but also compete with others in the business. Internet and smartphones have changed the way people shop. They now have more choices over what they want to buy and from where. Let us see what changes have taken place and how the retailers should deal with them.
Most online retailers are not profitable yet and the industry estimates are not looking good either. The online retail industry has so far been competing with each other on price and costly customer acquisition, which in combination does not auger well for profitability.
The prevalent belief is that only at scale (aka, a billion dollar or more in revenue) can these retailers believe to be able to amortize their customer acquisition and marketing costs. This belief stems from the assumption that you need to pay (or offer a hefty discount) for people to shop online and to market (aka advertise) heavily to remain in the customer psyche.
Amazon investors might have finally heard the news they have been waiting for: The retailer is raising shipping fees.
Amazon has 237 million active customers but as a general rule makes almost no profit. Thursday’s announcement that the company was considering raising prices by as much as 50 percent on its $79 Prime shipping program could mean $500 million for its skimpy bottom line.
Last year, Apple quietly introduced iBeacon into location services on iOS 7. It's a technology that can track your position and movements in places like stores and restaurants. It functions kind of like GPS but uses more energy-efficient Bluetooth communication. When you install a third-party app that uses iBeacon, a destination (like a store or a stadium) can know when you enter, where you go, what you look at, and when you leave.
Apps that have access to this kind of tracking data, combined with other personal information, are powerful monitoring tools. Few of us would allow the police or government to track us at this level.