Digital retail for the traditional retail in-depth transformation, is the traditional e-commerce can not be comparable. If we regard the transformation of traditional e-commerce to traditional retail as a mere scratch of the surface, then the transformation of digital retail to traditional retail will be very painful. One of the important reasons for such a difference is that traditional e-commerce only changes from the channel and marketing, while digital retail is a transformation from the entire retail industry.
That’s why digital retail isn’t as fast as traditional e-commerce. However, we can’t offset the huge development potential of digital retail itself. On the contrary, digital retail brings much greater development potential and growth space than traditional e-commerce.
Finding the breakthrough of digital retail and bringing essential changes to traditional retail is the key to its rapid development.
According to people’s cognition of digital retail in the past, the so-called digital retail is actually a process of empowering traditional retail players. It only needs to transform traditional retail with the help of digital means. But is this really the case? If digital retail just uses digital means to transform traditional retail players, then, from the essence logic point of view, it is no essential difference from the Internet technology for the transformation of consumer behavior and habits, but digital retail will transform the object from the C end to the B end.
Obviously, if we only define digital retail in terms of traffic, the so-called digital retail is still not out of the Internet style development cycle. Only by re-examining and looking at digital retail from a perspective other than traffic flow, and finding the right ways and methods for digital retail landing, can we really bring the development of digital retail into the right development track.
When the development of digital retail enters the deep water zone, especially when the digital wave is developing in full swing, it is more important to re-examine digital retail.
Traffic is not the ultimate pursuit of digital retail
In the era of e-commerce, the object of transformation is end C, while in the era of digital retail, the object of transformation becomes end B. Whether the object of transformation is regarded as end C or end B, in essence, these practices can be classified into the category of traffic. Although the amount of traffic determines the size of the market of digital retail players, but if only the traffic is regarded as the ultimate pursuit of digital retail, without finding the new blue ocean beyond the traffic, then the so-called digital retail, is still a no new concept. In the long run, digital retail, into trouble is inevitable.
Still, we’re seeing a relentless demand for traffic from digital retail players, from the leading platforms to specialized SaaS services. Less thousands, more tens of thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of traffic, almost become the standard of the players, but also become a symbol of their strength. It has to be said that the abundance of traffic can indeed allow digital retail players to quickly cash out, rapid development, however, if only the focus of attention on the flow of the body, and did not find a combination of traditional retail and new ways and new methods, especially can not deeply transform the traditional retail, then, the so-called digital retail, sooner or later will fall into the predicament of traffic.
Compared with the flow, the author believes that digital retail needs to pay more attention to the deep integration of the upstream and downstream of the retail industry by players, break the traditional supply and demand logic constructed by traditional retail and traditional e-commerce, and realize the seamless connection between the upstream and downstream of retail, especially the deep integration of supply and demand. Through this integration, digital retail players are no longer an independent existence outside the retail industry, but a deeply integrated existence with all aspects of the retail industry. More specifically, digital retail players are part of the retail industry.
It’s a whole new kind of traffic thinking. The innovation of this traffic thinking is that it eliminates the need for traffic by integrating traditional e-commerce platforms into the retail process.
The traffic thinking in the traditional sense is based on the dual structure of platform and merchants. This structure indicates that they cannot achieve deep integration. One party is bound to be harvested by the other, and one party is bound to be transformed by the other. When the age of digital retail arrives, this phenomenon will no longer exist. Instead, everyone is part of the retail industry, just playing different roles. As a result, traffic is no longer necessary.
In this case, digital retail players are more concerned about how to use new ways and methods to achieve changes in the retail industry, rather than blindly focus on the harvest of traffic. From there, digital retail will be completely insulated from traffic, opening up a whole new era of development.
Refactoring is not the theme of digital retail
When it comes to digital retail, many people automatically associate it with the refactoring of people, goods and stores. What is more, the reconstruction of the three elements of people, goods and field is regarded as the core of digital retail. What is the reconstruction of the three elements of man, goods and field? In the author’s opinion, the most important point is to reconstruct the relationship between the three elements of people, goods and market. Through such reconstruction, the change of retail industry can be realized. However, can it really change the development of digital retail just by reconstructing the relationship between people, goods and stores?
I doubt it. The original structure and operation logic of retail industry can only be changed superficially by the three elements of people, goods and field. In fact, there is no change in the three elements of people, goods and field. When the three elements of people, goods and market have not changed fundamentally, the retail industry itself will not change fundamentally even if it has undergone some kind of reconstruction. Only by truly changing the three elements of people, goods and field, and then looking for ways and methods to reconstruct the three elements of people, goods and field, can the retail industry truly bring fundamental changes.
In my opinion, this is the core of digital retail.
Therefore, it is not the theme of digital retail to reconstruct the three elements of people, goods and field, but to transform the three elements of people, goods and field. On this basis, the barriers between the three elements of people, goods and field are broken, and the gap between the three elements of people, goods and field is eliminated, so that the three elements of people, goods and field can achieve a deep and comprehensive integration, and even the three elements of people, goods and field can realize “you in me”. The internecine situation is what digital retail should really do.
When we find the way and method to transform the three elements of people, goods and field, and realize the deep integration of the three elements of people, goods and field, the mission of digital retail will be completed. Otherwise, the so-called digital retail is still in the traditional sense of the development of the Internet. Fortunately, more and more players are starting to notice this, and they are starting to find ways and means to transform the three elements of people, goods and fields through digital means. From there, the development of digital retail has truly entered a new stage of development.
Digital is not the essence of digital retail
When it comes to digital, we’re seeing more and more players focus on digital, and some even see digital as the ultimate destination for digital retail. Indeed, we cannot deny that the wave of digitalization has brought great changes to our production and life. However, if we only regard digitalization as the end point of everything, so that digital retail deviates from the retail itself, then this development is bound to fall into a vicious circle of development. In the end, digital retail will eventually become a soulless existence.
In this regard, the author believes that although digital means and methods can indeed fundamentally change the retail industry itself, it does not mean that it can replace retail and become the ultimate goal of digital retail. In a sense, retail is still the end of digital retail, the foothold of digital retail, is still the essence of digital retail. If you deviate from this point, even though digital retail can bring much growth potential, you will still be trapped in the cycle of development without ID.
Only by truly seeing the new type of retail as the end point of digital retail, and the digital ways and methods are only the means to achieve such a new type of retail, can we really find the right direction of digital retail development. According to the author’s understanding, the so-called new retail is actually an existence whose internal elements and operating logic have undergone fundamental changes, and its external and internal forms will undergo a profound transformation.
In such a new category of retail, not only the previous retail mode will change, but also the elements, processes and links of the retail industry will undergo a profound transformation. Only with the birth of new species can digital retail be considered a success. Otherwise, no matter how many digital means are born, no matter how many digital models are derived, such digital retail will still fail.
To be clear, this new species is still a kind of retail.
Undeniably, it is indeed a correct choice to find ways and methods to break the traditional e-commerce through digital means and methods. This is not only in line with the development trend of the Internet industry, but also in line with the development trend of the retail industry. However, if we only regard digitalization as a way and method to continue the flow thinking, if we only regard digitalization as a way and method to reconstruct the three elements of people, goods and fields, and if we regard digitalization as the ultimate destination of digital retail, then the so-called digital retail will still fall into a dilemma.
We need to have a brand new understanding of digital retail, we need to rebuild the new model of digital retail, we need to let digital retail out of the Internet style development cycle. When digital retail is no longer a new type of traffic pool, when digital retail is no longer a new type of Internet species, when digital retail is no longer a simple patchwork existence, its development can be regarded as entering a new stage of development, it can realize the true sense of transformation and rebirth.