Subscription services to replace bricks-and-mortar stores

Retails stores will not exist in the future. That was the message Jon Holloway had for a packed room of industry leaders on Wednesday.

The respected futurist and co-founder of Zuper shared his predictions for the future of e-commerce at a forum hosted by IRI Worldwide.

Holloway believes that subscription services are the biggest reason for the demise of retail stores.

“Right now in Australia there’s probably 500 subscription business, there’s another 3000 being built as we speak today,” he said.

Everything from cosmetics to fashion, food and cars is developing in the world of subscription services.

Supermarket shopping is likely to become an altogether different experience, as many consumers will opt to receive items such as laundry detergent, shampoo, deodorants on a monthly subscription and centre their supermarket visit around sourcing fresh food.

More and more companies are by-passing the retailer and going straight to market.  A great example being Marley Spoon, which delivers fresh ingredients and recipes to the customer’s door.

Holloway spoke about the transient nature of people as global citizens. In a world where the average tenure in a job is 18 months and the average tenure living anywhere in one place is two years, he asked the question that many supermarkets will soon be asking themselves: “How do you build an audience for a shop in a local area when they’re not going to be there in two years?”

Currently, somewhere between 6 to 10 per cent of retail is done online in Australia, and Holloway predicts this could be 50 per cent by 2030, maybe even by 2025.

Within the next six to seven years, Jon believes that it won’t be a matter of stores versus e-commerce, it will be a true omnichannel experience.

“The digital side of buying today is so much bigger than an e-commerce website,” he said.

“Retails stores will not exist in the future. It’s too easy not to have a retail store.”


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