Sri Lanka still has room for offline retail growth
ECONOMYNEXT – There is still room for growth for brick and mortar shops in countries like Sri Lanka, where retailing is still growing, Simon Wintels who is a partner at McKinsey & Company, a consultancy said.
“The biggest mistake I see some retailers make is that they go all out for online without realising that it’s only five to 10 percent of the market, or even less,” he told a business forum organized by Sri Lanka’s retailers.
“So don’t forget your brick and mortar and your offline strategy, but really think about the role of the stores, and rethink what your store stands for.”
Stores nowadays act as places to form experiences and engage with customers he said.
However, it would be incredibly difficult to be a successful retailer without having an online presence, said Wintels.
Most shopping decisions involve some form of technology he told the 2018 Sri Lanka Retail Forum on Thursday.
“Only six percent of global consumer decisions are fully offline and 94 percent of shopping decisions involve some form of online activity,” he said.
“It could be just browsing for information or it could go all the way to buying the product and having it delivered.”
A show of hands revealed that less than half the attendees used their phones to research before buying a product.
This is slightly different than other countries said Kumar Rajagopalan, Chief Executive Officer, India Retailer’s Association.
“Normally 85 percent of the room would raise their hands,” he said.
(COLOMBO, 20 October 2018)