IMG_0392Industry Workshops were held during the Durban Fashion Fair and were presented by Dion Chang and Nicole Cooper of Flux Trends. Dion topic was

 Blurred lines servicing the online/offline hybrid customer 

Last year e-commerce in South Africa entered a phase of rapid acceleration. Sceptics were silenced as consumers continued to embrace online shopping. (A new PwC survey found that only 15% of South African respondents had never bought anything online.) The current market share of e-tailing is still small compared to traditional bricks & mortar business, but the growth potential is undeniably huge. But while the online shopping trajectory rises steadily, it has become clear that retail success does not hinge on two distinct paths – an online offering and/or a bricks & mortar offering – but rather a service offering that straddles both realms.

Blurred Lines, the latest trend report from Flux Trends, looks at the complex characteristics of the hybrid customer: a customer that is going to be with us for the foreseeable future.

This consumer is using new technologies to navigate the bricks and mortar environment, while simultaneously embracing the virtual world of online shopping. The hybrid shopper has developed a taste for both worlds as they bring different emotive qualities to the consumer experience. This duality has created a need and expectation for certain elements of both environments, to blur seamlessly, providing the best of both worlds.

For brands and retailers this hybrid customer challenges all traditional templates of marketing and consumer engagement. However, there is no rule book for this seemingly schizophrenic customer.

This presentation explored the following: 

The emergence of the hybrid consumer: we track the pendulum swing of the tech-savvy consumer from showrooming to webrooming.

Bringing cyberspace to the store: how to bring digital elements into a bricks & mortar environment to create a tech savvy consumer experience.

Taking the store into cyberspace: even businesses that are solely online are seeing the benefit of introducing tactile, offline experiences for their customers.

And everything in between: something old, something new – 21st century retail.

Struggling to provide that “omni channel” presence? This presentation will show you how to communicate with the hybrid customer.

Servicing the hybrid customer: Whether it’s online or offline, service is the gateway to the now, elusive and rare, customer loyalty.

Who attended the presentations?

 Retailers and brands who is either contemplating, or who have already embarked on an online offering to complement their bricks & mortar businesses.

 Retailers who simply want to create better retail theatre, to lure this hybrid customer.

 Marketers and advertisers who need to communicate with a customer that moves continually, and seamlessly, between the online and offline worlds.