The journey of an omni-channel shopper is spread across bricks and mortar stores, social media, apps, desktops and mobile devices. Access to internet-connected mobile devices has transformed shopping into a 24/7 activity, consequently placing pressure on retailers to provide fast and efficient delivery and returns processes.
As shoppers come to expect same-day or next-day delivery, the subsequent pressure on supply chain and distribution networks will drive demand for suburban distribution centre space due to the need for e-commerce fulfilment centres to be located near the relevant client base. As customer loyalty becomes harder to come by, the simplicity and efficiency of delivery as well as returns processes will be vital for retailers to operate profitably and ensure that customers shop again.
The future of retail does not mean the end of bricks and mortar retail; customer experience and fulfilment together will be the foundations of a successful retailer, driving the convergence of retail and logistics in Australia.