Mobile is in, and it's all about the older shopper — these are among the predictions set forth by Forrester Research in its predictive five-year e-commerce report, “The Future of Shopping,” written by Forrester Research retail analyst Sucharita Mulpuru. E-commerce (and omnichannel commerce), restaurants, education, health care, manufacturing, and luxury retail will thrive, leaving the rest to struggle, Mulpuru writes.
Retailers may be overly concerned right now about pleasing younger consumers when larger economic forces could be more important, including the fact that household incomes have declined for decades, the report says. Such basic economics affects consumers of all ages and must be addressed, according to the report.
The report hints that location technologies, mobile payments, and delivery disruptions are no more than overly hyped distractions keeping retailers from addressing more pressing issues and more useful tools like dynamic pricing, and more transformative technologies like remote customer service and biometrics. Mulpuru says these tools will ultimately ensure retailers' survival.
Forrester in this report says that, while e-commerce will continue to gain traction, economic forces are best not ignored as retailers contemplate their future. Flash-sales and tablet sales created great excitement, but have fizzled, while challenges to consumer spending have remained.
Location technologies, mobile payments, and same-day delivery are similarly shiny objects distracting retailers from more important issues, Mulpuru says. And, she says, even as e-commerce grows, the physical store does have a role, as it has already bounced back somewhat.
“There’s a bigger risk when opening a store rather than a website, but the reward of the online store is smaller than the physical store,” says Mulpuru.
The report singles out dynamic pricing as one important way to give consumers power as they contemplate purchases — a major element, it’s worth noting, of the approach by soon-to-launch Jet, which has promised to take retail commerce by storm.