Physical stores remain “integral” to the omnichannel strategy deployed at Oasis and will “never be redundant”, its deputy managing director has said.
Speaking at Drapers Ecommerce Summit today, Oasis’ Hash Ladha confirmed “the role of the store is not dead.”
In the next 12 months retailers will look at how the brand experience can now be improved for customers – but insisted stores are still integral.
“The role of stores is not over, retailers just now have several touch points for customers to interact with them. Stores will have a re-shaped model but will never be redundant,” he told delegates.
Ladha, who opened the Summit looking at the future of ecommerce, said while the last seven years have been about launches and innovation, the next seven will see retailers concentrate on refining existing channels.
Mobile was not an incremental sales channel, but the tablet is a platform that will generate sales, he said.
“The tablet is indulgent, a place where customers spend time researching and have a much longer dwell time on site.”
Ladha also looked at social media – a platform he believes is here to stay. “I don’t think it will ever be a transactional part of the industry but it is a great commercial channel that can often reach far larger numbers than email.”
The retailer plans to open a Twitter account for each individual store over the next 12-15 months.
“I know some retailers worry about letting employees onto Twitter but the way I see it, each sales teams speaks to thousands of customers directly in store so im sure we can trust them with 140 characters,” Ladha said.