The Importance Of The Hybrid Model

“The Importance Of The Hybrid Model: Traditional Retail And E-Commerce”

The ongoing pandemic has an immense influence on the digitalization of daily routines with a great impact on e-commerce growth. Throughout 2020-21, many businesses experienced challenges leading to adapt and change. In North Macedonia, the retail industry is continuously transforming and evolving to elevate customer experiences on a different level and achieve greater customer satisfaction.

The remote working model as one of the precautious measures to prevent Covid-19 spread generates greater online customer demand. For instance, according to Cushman&Wakefield research, online sales in Europe account for an average of 15% of the total retail revenues for non-food goods, whereas food & beverage accounts for 4.4% of the total retail revenues respectively. North Macedonia is backlogged compared to the European online sales average, with a registered 6.2% share from the total retail revenues in 2020. This underpins the resilience of traditional retail as an investment asset class in CRE1 locally. Nonetheless, the intention of incorporating multi-channel sales of implementation is not one to prevail over the other, yet to synchronize both in order to boost sales, keep the OPEX as low as possible, and gain greater market share.

Retail online presence is essential for market positioning and building brand recognizability. Despite digital marketing, retailers should provide easy online access to their inventories in order to balance the hybrid model and generate revenues from online and in-store sales. The simplest approach for balancing both is the click and collect model. The customers browse online to search for goods that they need now or soon, and while collecting them from brick-and-mortar, retailers sustain the desired foot traffic and have the possibility to create new in-store experiences with the intention to sell more than the initial purchases.

Furthermore, online shopping will experience significant growth locally once all complementary segments operate smoothly and are available to the customers. Moreover, the implementation of out-of-home (OOH) networks shall ease the process of delivery as well as return policies as a more efficient channel to move goods in comparison to the complexity of the door-to-door delivery system.

This signifies that the local market cannot compare with the current global e-commerce trends since the benchmarks applied have not been implemented in North Macedonia. Thus, this shall not be considered as a weakness with a potential threat to online retail, but by evaluating the experiences from other markets, local businesses may fuse models and implement the most applicable solutions to create greater potential to reach higher revenues.

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