By Christine Kern, contributing writer
Navigating the tumultuous road of retail in the Age of Amazon.
As news of Sears’ demise and other retailers falling flat plagues the headlines, retailers are faced with concerns on how to save their business before they’re next. Recently, Radial released an analysis to help retailers balance two pain points that are extremely real: scalability and profitability. Beyond Survival: Growing in the Age of Amazon also provides best practices from Shoe Carnival, who has experienced a 62 percent increase YoY in ecommerce orders with the help of Radial, to guide retailers on how to compete in the Age of Amazon.
According to the report, 80 percent of today’s shoppers expect free shipping and 69 percent want their purchases now or within two days, while 46 percent of shoppers abandoned a shopping cart due to excessive shipping times, and nearly 60 percent of shoppers won’t return after a bad shopping experience.
These are serious challenges for all retailers, but mid-market brands and retailers lack the resources of their bigger competitors to overcome them. So how can these mid-market retailers step up their game to better compete in the age of Amazon?
"Mid-market businesses are faced with two options. Either deliver an experience that makes customers happy while losing money, or make money but disappoint customers with a lousy experience. Unfortunately, neither option allows for retailers to thrive," said Stefan Weitz, Chief Product and Strategy Officer at Radial, the leading omnichannel commerce technology and operations provider. "Today's customers expect a frictionless shopping experience, and the scary reality is it's nearly impossible for mid-market retailers to deliver that on their own."
The study highlights the success of family footwear retailer Shoe Carnival, demonstrating how the chain has leveraged its strong store network and turned its stores into mini-distribution centers with the help of Radial, making them a primary fulfillment source for ecommerce business growth. This resulted in a 62 percent increase in year-over-year ecommerce orders since 2015, and a 61 percent increase in order volume year-over-year, and a 49 percent rise in sales revenue.
Among the innovative strategies that mid-market businesses can implement to better compete and differentiate themselves are: