Reality is (now) digital
by Mark Hunsmann in May 2020
Once the dust of the first corona shock settles and people start exploring what life after lockdown might look like, don’t expect just a reset. After this, people will avoid crowded shops and touching items somebody else might just have tried on.
As the last brick and mortar shops scramble to get online shopping going, I propose that consumers who haven’t done so previously will slowly join the ranks of digital natives, who have already bought their clothing online. Corona is merely accelerating a trend we have witnessed for a while:
"Digital shopping becomes mainstream, while going for an occasional shopping stroll is the exception."
And if we occasionally go out, why not drive a bit further to a really nice mall with a larger variety of shops and cafes?
We’ve somehow seen that coming, but it’s probably fair to say that the attribute safety needs to be added to the characteristics of the shop-of-the-future concept.
While running physical stores just became ever more challenging, e-commerce has to up it’s game as well as providing an experience that isn’t just safer than going to the mall, it also has to strive to resemble most of the advantages of the in-shop experience.
"E-commerce has to resemble most of the advantages of the in-shop experience"
Technology will play a major role here to make online shopping more enjoyable, in some ways simpler and for sure more intuitive. Obstacles and limitations posed by devices need to be eliminated, for example enabling consumers to carry along a particular shopping basked from mobile to desktop and arrange easy pick up at a shop of their choice.
When the lockdowns first started to happen, it looked like somebody pressed the ‘pause’ button for the global economy — however it becomes more apparent every day, that for fashion retail in particular, it was more like hitting a red and flashing ‘fast forward’ button.
While it is far from obvious what this unprecedented crisis will do with systemic problems such as overproduction and unsustainable speed, there are certain things retailers can already do to increase their chances to be part of the future.