Mainstream retail is dead, or so the doomsday sayers would like everyone to believe. As mobile apps and ecommerce keep gaining traction worldwide in an era of on-demand consumption, traditional brick-and-mortar chains have no future, critics argue. To drive home their point, they cite the growing dominance of Amazon, the U.S. e-commerce pioneer that continues to expand aggressively through a relentless focus on innovation and customer experience.
So, is Amazon the big Godzilla that will gobble up everyone on its way to global supremacy? Is there no way conventional retailers can fight back and remain relevant in a fast-changing marketplace? Of course, not. Retailers, I believe, can indeed rebound from the structural challenges they are grappling with today, and retell their story to discerning, digitally empowered customers in a persuasive manner. For inspiration, retailers need to only look at the success stories of marquee consumer brands such as Apple and Nike that have retained their unique value propositions by continuously reimagining the customer experience.