In some respects, technology has changed our world for the better. Our ability to access information, pay taxes, buy seemingly anything online with the click of a button has completely disrupted the past ways we as consumers and as businesses operate. The evolution of commerce is now starting to leave traditional brick-and-mortar retail businesses behind.
Stores such as Macy’s, JCPenney, and Dick’s Sporting Goods all have tough paths forward. Each store’s first quarter earnings report were underwhelming as a result of consumer spending shifting online. Sales fell from a year ago and many are concerned the retailers may not be able to compete with the online business model. Certain familiar stores like Radio Shack, Sports Authority, and Payless Shoe Source have already fell victim to the evolution, filing for bankruptcy in the last year. The squeeze is beginning to pressure department stores and other retail staples as well, which are planning to close stores nationwide as a result. If they don’t find ways to innovate and recapture sinking sales, their businesses will not be around much longer.
Amazon.com continues to soar with the demise of brick-and-mortar retailers. Technology has played a critical role in the consumer spending shift. This serves as a lesson for all businesses. Whether you are in retail, manufacturing, or service, businesses must evolve with the consumer. People must innovate constantly and be flexible to the changing tides of business. Investors are in tune with the trends, and if you are not able to adjust your business model fast enough, you will be left behind.