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Shopping and technology have fused and morphed spectacularly in recent years, with most of us shopping phone-in-hand, and online now almost as popular as bricks and mortar, right up to the age of 35. B&A’s study for the IBEC/Retail Ireland 2016 Retail Summit illustrates the magnitude of the shift.
We want brands to be up to date with technology (76% of us do) and equally, most shoppers (45%) want a meaningful online relationship with the brands that they like and aspire to own.
Some categories have drifted online faster and not surprisingly women’s fashion is particularly online-dependant. Given that 70% of Irish online spend is now transacted on “overseas” sites the threat to local retailers who don’t manage online well is clear.
The study looks at the brands that are managing this transition well, but does illustrate that many Irish brands lag behind the global behemoths such as Amazon, Boots, ebay and Tesco.
We also see that some categories work better online and others in bricks and mortar, so savvy retailers have introduced physical and digital events to start sales seasons earlier and maximise their take.
Last year a third of a typical Irish shoppers spend was online and our study predicts that this will rise by a fifth this Christmas, to 40%.
If €7 in every €10 continues to hit overseas, rather than Irish coffers, the Omnichannel drift could be fatal for many Irish retailers. However the shopper indicates that they want to buy the quirky, the personal, the individual ahead of global brands from mega-sellers. The research throws down a challenge to our retailers and brands to ensure that they embrace and satisfy our bourgeoning digital needs, as bricks and mortar isn’t sufficient as a route to market any more.
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