The future of retail and how small businesses can stay relevant – Amazon Selling

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In this guest post today, Kate Lester, founder and CEO of Diamond Logistics, offers a fearless opinion on the future of retail.

We can see light at the end of the tunnel. Shops are opening, but the reality is retail habits have changed forever. As a class A shopaholic, I will be first out of the blocks. But shopping habits have undoubtedly changed.

Some people will never go back to shopping the way they used to. The elderly, infirm or very time pressed. There is gold in these markets if you target them in a way that is attractive.

Commodities or specialist goods are perfect for online. Household product sites like Bother makes it very easy to order bulky and cost-effective goods direct to your home. Equally specialist goods – like Sacred Gin – are easier to source online as there are very few stockists of this premium product.

It’s the stuff you want to try on, touch, feel or see – like furniture – that will drive retail moving forward.

For example, buying shoes online is very hit and miss, as is buying furniture. The look, feel and weight of shows is a touch based experience.

A lot of people like their Saturday food shopping – I can’t see this being eroded entirely – and substitution is annoying. But shopping at Waitrose for a few key products – and getting the bulk on Ocado – is a way of mixing modes of purchase and retaining the best bits for the consumer. And who wants to log huge bags of shopping when you can get it delivered for a £5? And also its those last minute things – the capers and anchovies you decide you need for your dinner party – that your local delicatessen will always be strong at supplying.

There’s also a trend for convenience and local. My grocery preference at the moment is Co-op or Sainsbury’s local – with a weekend top up at Waitrose and M&S – spreading the pounds dependant on need.

Big retailers

Retailers have to embrace multi-modal experiences – click & collect, home delivery and retail experiences.

Retail experiences will continue to be a thing – but it will be a big day out – so they have to be fun and engaging

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