Thanks for opening this discussion. I'm the founder of The 360 Mall.
The industry experts raise some valid points in this discussion. Though, I think they are missing a piece of the puzzle.
As this discussion points out, e-commerce, led by the Amazon model, is increasingly seeking to speed up purchasing and take the friction out of it. But, the problem is that this hyper-focus takes the assumption that all online shoppers already have a product in mind and just want convenience. For those shoppers, the current e-commerce trajectory is good.
However, around 60% of shoppers cite that, they “window shop” online (browse without a product in mind), at least moderately often. Now, by definition, they aren’t looking for the quickest transaction online – they need to be especially motivated to make the purchase. These shoppers present the best opportunity to online retailers, but need to be especially immersed into a retailer’s brand story and product context.
We’ve found that for 42% of these consumers, an immersive and interactive experiential shopping experience would increase the frequency of their online purchases. Part of achieving this is addressing the problem that 70% of Australian consumers do not believe online retailers effectively sell the lifestyle associated with their products.
It’s certainly a solution for a subset of shoppers, but that shouldn’t discount the value it will add for retailers. In fact, we’ve found a $695m untapped market for experiential shopping in Australian online retail. Not the mention the enormous omni-channel potential I’ve posted about on LinkedIn.