In the Sept. 3 issue of Fortune magazine they asked “Where have all the shoppers gone?”. A clear cry to find out what is happening. It lists several reasons but one of them is the impact of e-commerce. The graph they included:
The e-commerce growth is significant but still from a small sales base of 6.4% of the total retail market. The point the article makes is that adaptation to the new world has been difficult. Almost all companies have on-line sales but few master it, resulting in missed growth. An interesting statistic from Green Street Advisors highlights the problem. Customers purchase on-line items of which about 15% are typically stocked in malls.
The solution: Some malls attack on-line threats by adding what the on-line world can not offer, a more personal interaction by adding gyms and wine bars. The mall still offers the convenience but they add new experiences that some shoppers may look for.
Another solution that seems to work is to be able to order on line and pick up at the store. Again, a combination that on-line only can not offer.
Customers continue to look for products and services but stores have to adapt to the way they buy or face extinctions.