Convergence Letter 21: When real and virtual are in the boat, no one falls overboard
Our Convergence Letters are published every two months. They mainly focus on issues about Telecoms, Media and Utilities, and they address topics as diverse as sustainable development or distribution.
Can physical stores compete with online stores?
The investment in physical distribution outlets is progressing, for example in stores in city centers where it increased by 33% between 2006 and 2008. What better way is there than a store to ensure additional contact with the customer?
Thus, the war between the Internet and the point of sale is not a real battle. The major trend is that of complementary channels; the consumer now uses many channels before purchasing.
Two customer movement flows are appearing: the “stores to Web” and the “Web to stores”. The challenge for the retailers is seated in this articulation.