Where did the year go?

  29 December 2015

With the way the industry is evolving, looking back over the last year seems a little pointless. The last few months alone have seen countless stories detailing advances in online retailing and virtual reality technology. Once the realm of science fiction, the latter is destined to be the future of remote retailing – if you can believe the industry analysts. Internet shopping is no longer a novelty either, but the news that BMW and a select but growing band of auto makers are taking the plunge is proof that it is rapidly becoming just another sales channel. 

What might not be the norm just yet is the mindset needed to adapt to this new way of doing business. The festive three-day ‘weekend’ was something to saviour after a year of hard graft, but this new-fangled Internet business demands a greater flexibility when it comes to reacting to customer enquiries. Sorry to spoil your Turkey leftovers but the age of office hours trading is well and truly over.

Still, the news that bricks and mortar retailers enjoyed a good Christmas is proof that the High Street isn’t dead just yet. And it’s important to note that the human touch remains a central part of the shopping experience, even if it’s to facilitate the increasingly popular Click and Collect trend. For me that’s the take-home message; for all the hi-tech advances in selling, branding and promotion, customer service is still king. Remember this, even when you think you look daft wearing a VR headset demonstrating a product to an online customer, and you’re halfway there.

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