Click Shift

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Recently, the Click Frenzy sale gave just a little taste of the demand for online shopping in Australia.  Customers no longer feel the need to spend their time and resources driving to a shopping center, standing in line, and battling the crowds.  Online shopping is easy and simple—it seems to have no downside.  But as the crowds drain from the malls and traffic flows into retailers’ websites, what kind of effects will we see in the physical retail world?  Fewer sales jobs? Shorter hours that result in smaller overhead costs? And should these savings be re-injected, in the functionality of e-commerce sites?

These are all valid questions.  The National Retail Association and the Australian Retailers Association have both noted a small but steady decline of in-person retail sales this year.  But perhaps in seasons to come, retailers should be prepared for the shift of shoppers from stores to websites to be even more substantial.

If your company has both online and physical locations, have you seen a decline in foot traffic and increase in site visitors? What steps are you taking to adjust to the fluctuation?