Innovate or die: Omni-channel retailing is the only hope for Singapore brands

Brick-and-mortar shops just won’t cut it anymore.

Singapore retailers are going to have to up the ante if they want to survive the languishing retail sector, as analysts believe that the e-commerce threat is just getting started.

Citing PricewaterhouseCooper's (PwC) 2016 retail survey, RHB noted in a report that 38% of Singapore respondents only started shopping online in the last three years. In contrast, over 80% of China respondents have been making online purchases for more than three years.

"Given Singapore's high purchasing power and internet penetration rate, we believe the e-commerce revolution is just beginning," RHB stated.

Moving forward, brands will have to blur the lines between retailing online and in brick-and-mortar shops.

Omni-channel retailing—the integration and selling through multiple channels—is expected to flourish as brands scramble to avoid high rental expenses and the loss of customers to online players.

"This means: i. Embracing and integrating e-commerce into their strategy; ii. Having physical stores to serve as showrooms to provide the touch and feel of products; iii. Having in-store mobile devices or computers; iv. Offering return policies by post and to store; v. Offering self-collection services for online purchases and delivery for in-store purchases," stated RHB. 

Photo by joyfull/Shutterstock.com

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