The End of Online Shopping

The future of retail in an always connected world

Chapter 1 The onlification of society

Society is in the process of onlification: the blurring of online and offline in daily life. What are the consequences for the retail and service sector? Consumers become onlife consumers. Traditional retail changes to a world of always-connected retail. We are entering a new economic era where retail is based on four new mutually reinforcing economies: smart, sharing, circular, and glocal (global/local).


Chapter 2 Onlife retail in the smart economy

Seven technological applications are completely changing retail as we know it. The comprehensive Internet of Things and big data linked to it form the foundation for the smart economy. Virtual and augmented reality will create a new shopping experience in the next few years. And 3D printing will also significantly change the shopping landscape. What are the opportunities and concerns regarding robotization, artificial intelligence and the blockchain? Should we be worried about big data, privacy and safety? One thing is certain: nothing can be taken for granted anymore. 

Chapter 3 Consumption in the sharing economy

Within a sharing economy, likeminded people and companies will do business together. However, not all that glitters is idealistic gold: the sharing economy is about money and power too. What are the main challenges in the sharing economy? New balances of power are sure to emerge between shops, marketplaces, manufacturers and co-creating “prosumers”. The traditional retail chain will be turned upside down in the sharing economy.


Chapter 4 Sustainable shopping in the circular economy

In the years to come, sustainable consumer choices will gain an ever-stronger foothold in the behavioral patterns of consumers. Do they opt for buying or sharing, for new or previously owned? This chapter dives into the 10 Rs, from recycle to refurbish. What does the transformation from a linear retail model to a circular one entail? What are new business models for retailers? Find out about sustainably consuming energy and raw materials. What does it take to have consumers and retailers embrace the circular economy? There is a circular retail paradox.


Chapter 5 The winner takes all in the glocal economy

This chapter covers the rise and power of global shopping ecosystems, as well as the opportunities for national and local market participants, shops and niche players. They are facing a prisoner’s dilemma: whether or not to participate. Who will be best able to hold their own in the new balance of forces? Maybe the retailers who reach back to the core values of the shopping landscape from the 1950s will succeed. What are challenges and opportunities for Europe to keep up with all these global forces?


Chapter 6 The almighty onlife consumer

A new generation of shoppers has arrived, with a new shopper DNA. This chapter deals with the difference between digital natives and digital immigrants. Where do digital illiterates fit in? New onlife consumers are evidently powerful shoppers who can make or break shops and brands.


Chapter 7 Orientation: the decisive N=1 factor

Within the new customer journey, “finding” and “being found” is the name of the game. Customers want to be offered their goods and services at the right time, in the right channel and through the right medium. In addition, this should take place under the right conditions of sale, with the right service and, last but not least, at the right price. Retailers should no longer try to fit customers in their own shopping environment. Instead they should do everything in their power to seamlessly conquer a place in the life of onlife consumers.


Chapter 8 Selection: the new paradigm of choice

Onlife consumers select products and services in a routine, comparative, examining and impulsive way. This chapter covers where (at which stores) and how (in which ways) consumers make their selections. They want to have unlimited choice, without getting lost. This leads to the paradigm of choice: being able to choose from an unlimited offer that is presented in a personally relevant way.


Chapter 9 Payment: the way to no-click buy

For onlife consumers, payment should fit in seamlessly with the rest of the customer journey. How do we achieve this, though? There are four trends determining how consumers will pay in the future: the break-through of contactless payment, the battle for the consumers’ digital wallets, your own identity as the new currency, and the rise of the blockchain.


Chapter 10 Delivery: the last green mile

What does it take to deliver all these packages at consumers’ homes? And what about the many packages that are being returned? Are free returns a burden or a service? The biggest challenge in this regard is a package’s last mile. How can the Internet of Things help (online) stores and logistical service providers? Find out about the rise of social delivery. And how can we turn the last mile into a sustainable last green mile?


Chapter 11 Customer care in the customer journey

What do consumers require from the companies’ personalized customer services in the coming years? Initial and repeat purchases call for different approaches. In the meantime, customers want to maintain the relationship with the retailer whom they trust.


Chapter 12 New business models

(Future perspective companies) New business models are disruptive for traditional retail. What are the new business models of the future? Will there still be room for mid-scale companies or might there be more than enough room in the new middle? In any case, disrupting your own business model is a prerequisite for survival.


Chapter 13 Working in onlife retail

The time of putting customers at the center of your own store has gone. Shops should seamlessly connect with the consumers’ environment. The retailers’ transformation into digital network companies, where new generations of talented and professional staff are making the difference, is in full swing. For the educational sector, the biggest challenge is to follow this transition as fast as possible, so that we do not miss the boat in the War for Talent.


Chapter 14 The rise of the network society

The powers in the world of retail are shifting. How can we ensure a future in which there are opportunities for all types of retailers? Governments, companies and consumers must take their responsibility in this regard. They form the foundation for a new network society based on the human scale.


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