Post-channel shopping: how La Rinascente and Walmart are taking it on

10 Aug 2017
La Rinascente and Walmart are very different entities in global retail, but it appears they are similar in the way they think about shopping, based on the unavoidable obligations of the post-channel age. This is a concept that aims to provide customers with a unique shopping experience, where there is no difference between online retail, offline retail, and social retail. La Rinascente - which was honoured with the title of "Best department store in the world" last year at the Global Department Store Summit 2016 - does not yet have an online shop like some of its most famous competitors (the English Selfridges, for example). However, its new social shopping service, which has been active since 22nd June, is a decisive step towards digitisation. The service is called On Demand and enables customers around the world to shop at home through social messaging. For now it uses WhatsApp and WeChat will be added in the immediate future. A personal shopper will find the required product (just in the Milan shop, for now) and it will be set aside for 24 hours. Once the purchase has been decided on, a payment link is sent to the customer, with a minimum spend of 60 euros. Still in the test phase, the first results are comforting: the average receipt is three times higher than the in-store average. We are awaiting relevant data from the shopping omnichannel festival held on August 8th, organised by Walmart - number one in the Retail world - in collaboration with JD.com, who are number two (after Alibaba) in China's digital commerce sector, which is worth around 80 billion dollars. During the event, the US group took advantage of JD.com's distribution network to deliver products purchased by Chinese consumers to over 400 Walmart outlets in the country, where vouchers for online shopping had been available since 20th July. Walmart filed revenues up 1.4% to $ 117.5 billion in the first quarter. It also marks a 63% rise in digital commerce, the highest growth rate in five years, achieved mostly through Walmart.com.