The phrase hybrid retail has been used a lot in the news and media lately. Basically it's a new way retailers are using to adapt to the changes of the economy, the new normal. The good thing is that hybrid retail also meets the needs of customers in the way customers want to consume products.
Hybrid retail is basically four different ways of fulfilling products from a brick and mortar physical location.
First, you've got your traditional carrier shipping, FedEx, DHL, UPS or Canada Post. All these carriers are going to stay the same, except you're going to see retailers needing to expand to potentially offer more carriers with lower shipping rates, especially to compete against Amazon.
Next you have curbside pickup or in store pickup. This is where people can order online ahead of time and then show up and pick it up. There's a few different ways to execute this as a retailer. It can be where customers order it and then can pick it up whenever. Depending on your business model, the customer may need to order it and pick it up in a certain time frame. If you're implementing this as an online retailer, you may need to offer the ability to book an appointment for the pickup.
Another part of the hybrid retail model is localized delivery. This is different from a carrier, where FedEx picks it up and brings it somewhere days later.
Localized delivery is having somebody fulfill the delivery of a product direct to the customer, potentially within hours or the same day of ordering it online. This is like Uber Eats or Skip The Dishes, but for retail delivery. You will also need to make sure people can have it delivered to the store which is closest to them. If you have multiple locations, you need to add a geolocation option to really execute it effectively.
The final part is really for brick and mortar appointments. This might be if you have a clothing store and you need to limit the amount of people inside right now, customers would show up and there's a line out the door, but what we need to be able to do is move to a process where the customer can book an appointment to come into the store.
This actually offers some cool opportunities because it's a way to get them in and to be able to still sell to them. It may offer opportunities to provide a better experience to your customers beyond just allowing them to show up at a specific time where they can buy the product, because here you have the ability to offer more personalized experience.
So the four key components of hybrid retail are:
- Traditional carrier and shipping.
- Curbside or in store pickup.
- Localized delivery that can happen much faster than a carrier.
- Appointment based brick and mortar retail experiences.
The great thing is, is that these four things not only allow you to continue to generate revenue while the world's turned upside down, but it actually also allows your customers to buy from you the way they want and potentially for you to provide a better customer experience.
Enjoy putting these options into practice for your business. If you need support with it, sign up for a free consultation and we can walk you through some options.
If you would like more information, please read our previous blog post on Hybrid Retail.