Retailers 'face up to e-commerce threat'

A new report has revealed that 65 per cent of retailers feel threatened by the shift to online spending.

A survey of more than 600 retailers from the UK, Spain and the US by location intelligence firm Geoblink found that 72 per cent of respondents had opened their own e-commerce sites in response to the shift away from bricks and mortar retail.

In addition, 46 per cent reported having closed establishments over the course of 2018, with 37 per cent claiming to have done so because of poorly located shop premises.

However, whilst the retailers recognised the move towards online amongst consumers, 68 per cent said they had plans to open more establishments in 2019, suggesting ongoing faith in the future of omnichannel shopping which bridges in-store and online.

When it came to picking the most effective sales channel, 56 per cent preferred bricks and mortar premises.

Meanwhile, retailers are increasingly turning to sophisticated data analysis to optimise point of sale performance, with 79 per cent saying internal sales data was most valuable to their business, followed by in-store shopper behavioural data (65 per cent) and customer data such as addresses and loyalty card information (55 per cent).

Founder and chief executive of Geoblink, Jaime Laulhé, said: "It is clear that the retailers who make it to the other side will be the ones who are not only capable of collecting data but also understanding what to do with it.

"Those who glean the most insight as a result of this kind of meaningful analysis will become the retailers of the future."

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