A wave of digitalization is taking place in all walks of life. In the retail sector, it is no exception. In the past, when referring to retail, we thought more about all kinds of e-commerce platforms, we saw all kinds of e-commerce models; Now, when we think about retail, we tend to think about a variety of retail models, and we see a variety of retail species. On the surface, though, there isn’t much difference. If we dig deeper, we will find that there are many differences between the current retail evolution and the previous era of e-commerce.
For example, in the era of e-commerce, players put more emphasis on the acquisition and transformation of traffic, so as to open more possibilities of matchmaking and intermediary; Now, players are paying more attention to the depth of the retail industry, the depth of the transformation of the industry end. For example, in the era of e-commerce, players put more emphasis on expanding their moats to establish their size and position in the industry; Now, players are focusing more on deep involvement in the retail industry and deep innovation in the retail industry.
When this series of differences become the mainstream of retail development, when those tried-and-true e-commerce model fades away, a real sense of the new retail era is really approaching. When such an era comes, what we need to do is to find a development model and method in line with such an era, so as to open up new possibilities for development. However, things didn’t work out that way, and we took a detour on the road to new retail.
New retail is struggling to get rid of e-commerce as a concept
In fact, the disadvantages of e-commerce have already been mentioned many years ago, and there are e-commerce players to find ways and methods to get rid of the traditional e-commerce. The concept of new retail was born in such a big background. It has to be said that coming up with a new retail concept in a context where e-commerce is still going strong is more or less like fixing a roof when the sun is shining. However, if we only regard the new retail as a concept and fail to find the correct way and method to truly implement and practice the new retail, then the so-called getting rid of e-commerce and embracing the new retail may be a concept in the end.
Specifically, there are the following aspects:
Did not get rid of the cycle of traffic thinking. When the concept of new retail is proposed, what we see is the arrival of a new development wave dominated by the reconstruction of three elements: people, goods and field. It has to be said that the retail industry can be activated to a certain extent and bring certain growth potential to the development of the retail industry through the reconstruction of the three elements of people, goods and field. However, if only the reconstruction of the three elements of people, goods and field is regarded as a way and method to reconstruct the flow pattern, without really jumping out of the cycle of traffic, then the so-called reconstruction of the three elements of people, goods and field is just a life-saving straw for e-commerce.
Later development has also proved this point for us. Although many new retail models and new retail players have emerged after the concept of new retail was proposed, few players can really get rid of the traffic and can only jump out of the traffic and develop in a new way. Even those leading e-commerce players still regard new retail as a way and method of reconstructing traffic, and have not found the correct way and method to land new retail in essence.
When traffic dominates new retail, it is more e-commerce than new retail. At this point, new retail is just e-commerce for outerwear. So many of the players we see jumping into the new retail game are either trying to gain traction with the giants and the capital, or they’re trying to capitalize on the new retail concept and continue to reap the benefits of traffic. This kind of wordplay cannot bring new momentum to the development of e-commerce in any way. This new retail model, still trapped in the cycle of traffic thinking, is only a concept in the end. So, we’re seeing the ebb of new retail, we’re seeing the chicken feathers that are left behind when players leave.
Not out of the Internet cycle. All along, the author believes that the real new retail should be an existence with “new” as the focus and core, rather than “retail” as the focus and core. Among many “new” elements, the author believes that the most critical point lies in the new technology, especially the new technology that can really bring fundamental changes to the development of the retail industry. They are the key reasons why new retail is called new retail.
So, are new retail players really using new technologies to interpret and develop new retail? Apparently not. We see a lot of new retail players, some of them Internet giants, some of them are new people, but when it comes to new technology, they all fall into the Internet cycle. At the end of the day, they still see the Internet as the underlying technology for new retail, and they’re still using Internet technology for new retail.
Obviously, new retail cannot be called new retail in any way when it is still a species with Internet technology as the underlying technology. Yes, we see a lot of new retail concepts, models, and players, but when we get to the new retail, it’s pretty clear that it’s still a shiny mirage built on top of Internet technology. Until people feel the real problem with new retail, they will vote with their feet, and new retail, as it is called, will continue to languish until it is consigned to the scrap heap.
It does not avoid the problems and drawbacks of the platform. What exactly is the problem with e-commerce? In the author’s opinion, the biggest problem is that it only acts as a matchmaking and intermediary role, but does not really participate in the actual operation process of the industry, let alone bring fundamental changes to the industry itself. When the needs of users do not change, there is still a certain market space for e-commerce, but when the needs of users change, the problems and drawbacks of the platform model will be exposed.
In the final analysis, in order to solve the real problems, e-commerce platforms must avoid the problems and drawbacks of the platform, and truly devote themselves to the industry. Through their own empowerment and transformation, they can help generate new supply on the supply side, so as to meet the new demand on the demand side. New retail is born in such a big background. Therefore, saying goodbye to the platform and truly returning to the industry itself is the key reason why the new retail will be “new”.
However, we see so many new retail players, we see so many new retail models, and one of their biggest problems is that they still love the platform model, they still have so much confidence in the platform model, and they don’t really explore ways to get new retail to the ground and break the game outside of the platform model.
When the new retail cannot be deeply integrated with the industry end, when the new retail cannot give up the positioning of the platform, when the new retail is still just a platform and center, especially when it cannot bring the upgrade to the supply end, all the bright and beautiful things will go to waste. This is the fundamental reason why the new retail model we are seeing is in trouble.
When it comes to new retail, the first thing that comes to mind is its deep brand of “getting rid of e-commerce”. However, new retail has been talking about “getting rid of e-commerce”, but has not realized the real sense of “getting rid of e-commerce”. Finally, new retail has been completely reduced to a concept. Instead of getting rid of e-commerce, it has become a life-saving potion for the survival of e-commerce. When it is difficult for new retail to complete the mission of getting rid of e-commerce, new species will inevitably emerge and replace it to complete such a mission.
The thread is becoming clear, and digital retail is becoming the direction
In order to find the antidote to e-commerce, to let the development of e-commerce industry out of the original dilemma, we must fundamentally find solutions and methods. After a lot of time of exploration and practice, digital retail began to replace new retail as the new development direction. So far, e-commerce has a new solution.
Digital retail has made a difference on the supply side. In my opinion, one of the important reasons why digital retail has become the successor to e-commerce is that it brings real changes to the supply side. Whether on the supply side products and services, or on the supply side elements and operational logic, a new change is taking place. Simply put, digital retail enables the supply side and the consumption side to realize a new connection.
One of the important reasons why digital retail can achieve such a goal is that it not only changes the elements of the supply side, but also changes the operation logic of the supply side, and on this basis, realizes the generation of new products, services and experiences on the supply side. This is the key reason why digital retail will replace new retail as the antidote to e-commerce.
When digital retail becomes the mainstream, what we see is that the model of e-commerce will be deeply changed. The previous model dominated by platform and center will be replaced by more new models such as direct supply and direct purchasing by factories. When digital retail becomes the mainstream, we see that the supply side is no longer an old product, but a new product, and these new products are completed and realized on the basis of the completion of the in-depth empowerment and transformation of the industrial end. When digital retail goes mainstream, what we’re seeing is a series of elements, a series of processes and links on the supply side that are going to be profoundly changed… It is because of these changes that it has finally become a worthy successor to e-commerce.
Digital retail has transformed the business system. Whether in the traditional era or in the Internet era, all business systems are binary and divided. However, when the age of digital retail arrives, we see the arrival of a new wave of development represented by the integration of online and offline, virtual economy and real economy. When such a convergence begins, we see a profound change in the business system.
The author believes that in the era of digital retail, its business system will no longer be the center of the era of e-commerce, and there will be no platform in the era of e-commerce, but a new form of seamless coupling between the supply side and the demand side. Under such a business system, the role and role of each digital retail player will have a deep and thorough change.
This is why digital retail will replace e-commerce. When digital retail is supported by a new business system, the conventional operation logic of e-commerce, which has been formed in the era of traditional e-commerce, can be fundamentally changed. Starting from this, the evolution of e-commerce can truly enter a new stage of development.
Digital retail allows the roles of all parties to be reshaped and reinvented. If only in accordance with the traditional sense of the development model to develop, if only in accordance with the traditional role to develop, then, we are no matter how to jump out of the development predicament of e-commerce. That’s why we’ve been looking for e-commerce solutions and haven’t been able to find them. Only by reshaping and reinventing the roles of all parties, and reconstructing everything, can e-commerce be fundamentally changed.
With the advent of digital retail, such a goal has been achieved. Under the digital retail system, the supply side and the demand side in the traditional era are no longer rigid and difficult to transform, but can be mutually integrated and transformed. The huge development potential contained in such a chaotic state and the new species brought by such a chaotic state of development are the key reasons why digital retail will replace e-commerce as a new direction of development. It can be predicted that only those players who have realized the role remodeling and reconstruction of all parties, and only those players who have completed the reconstruction and reconstruction of e-commerce, are the real digital retail players and the players who can truly grasp the future development direction of e-commerce.
In this process, players need to be involved, to be able to find solutions, to be able to make a difference in retail itself. This puts a higher demand on digital retail players, who must not only have the ability to connect the various processes and links of the industry, but also have the ability to deeply transform these details. And it is these relatively high requirements that have achieved new changes in digital retail, so that digital retail has become the future direction of development.
When new retail fails to bring fundamental changes to e-commerce, what we see is that it starts to go from being an innovative presence to a cliche. Fortunately, when the digital age arrived, we saw the rise of a new development led by digital retail. Compared with new retail, digital retail has become a new direction of future development due to its deep transformation of retail and radical change of e-commerce. Thus, the evolution of e-commerce has really entered a new stage of development.