The struggles of retail are well documented with most verticals experiencing pricing pressures and increasing competition through the emerging use of e-commerce. The digital age is rapidly influencing markets with traditional industries undergoing significant change to keep abreast of consumer behaviour. Wine merchants, Majestic Wines is no exception.
Globally, E-commerce is becoming the preferred channel for retail. According to Digital Commerce 360, retail online sales grew by a 18% in 2018, which is no surprise really. Globally, the way we shop is evolving. Through the web, your average 21st century customer is empowered with vast volumes of information resulting in better informed “purchase journeys”. Be that through the influence of social media, third party product reviews or recommendations. In reality, the majority of sales have occurred in advance of the consumer visiting e-commerce sites.
If executed well, the benefits of e-commerce platforms to businesses are substantial. For example: accessing customers beyond local markets, leveraging data to personalise customer experiences or manipulating data to gain customer insights. The level of sophistication is rapidly increasing with a business’ ability to adapt to its environment through technology, crucial to its success.
A company’s web presence is more than just a differentiator. At Polestar, we work with many businesses where their online presence and e-commerce platforms are key to driving value – even for the most traditional industries. Charlie tells a story of a chap who came into his office in 1999, at the height of the tech bubble, with an idea to raise cash for readymixedconcrete.com – where concrete could be ordered on-line. It does not look so outlandish now!
Add to this the blurring line between B2C and B2B marketing, we all need to be getting our online messaging and offers right to complement our physical presence.
That said, I do quite like the advice I get from the wine shop or, indeed, the wee taster they often offer, so hopefully it won’t all go on-line!
Does Majestic’s move online spell the end for high street wine?