New Retail vs Old Retail: Breaking it Down

New Retail vs Old Retail: Breaking it Down

In 2016, Jack Ma coined the term “New Retail” to describe a revolution in the retail space. A wave of change where the consumer takes centre stage.

With giants like Alibaba, Tencent and JD already dominating the New Retail space, retailers are left wondering – how does New Retail differ from the traditional retail we know so well?

What is New Retail?

New Retail is a concept termed by Jack Ma to describe the integration of offline and online retail. This strategy emphasises on merging online and offline resources to solve issues from several sides.

On the consumer end, the shopping experience becomes boundlessly convenient. For brick-and-mortar stores, keeping up with the growth of online retail is no easy task. E-Commerce operators on the other hand, may face difficulties at the last mile where infrastructure may not be able to keep up with online demand.

What is Traditional Retail?

Traditional retail models include brick-and-mortar stores, but that’s just from a physical standpoint. The essence of traditional retail is less consumer-focused and innovation simply isn’t a priority.

But that doesn’t mean that traditional retailers are doomed to be left behind! Given the tools and strategies available today, traditional retailers have a multitude of ways to continue raising the bar and implementing New Retail concepts into their organisation.


The Evolution of Retail

New Retail vs Traditional Retail
  New Retail Traditional Retail
Key focus  Consumer-centric, innovative omnichannel shopping experience Tangible, rewarding shopping experience
Advantages ●       No geographical limitations

●       Heightened convenience

●       Easy product and price comparison

●       Physical interaction allows retailers to gain ground with consumers

●       Goods obtained immediately

Challenges ●       Lack of tangible experience

●       Difficulty managing multiple marketing and distribution channels at once

●       Higher overhead costs

●       Lower selection


3 Ways Traditional Retailers Can Incorporate New Retail

  • Invest in your digital presence

Your company’s online presence isn’t just about branding or marketing efforts (though those aren’t to be neglected either!). While your reach is exponentially broadened online, it can be tough for shoppers to find you.

Location-based SEO helps target potential customers within your area, picks you out from the crowd, ensures customers know where to find you and are able to easily contact you.


  • Make use of technology where it matters

Too often, retailers choose to stick to tried-and-true systems – even if they’re falling behind. Invest in digital solutions which help to optimise your company’s processes and eliminate inefficiencies.


  • Build an omnichannel shopping experience

Find opportunities wherever possible to integrate both brick and click. This could mean allowing customers to buy online, but pick up in store or at a physical location.


One step at a time

Like any change worth making, your company’s digital transformation isn’t something to be accomplished overnight. Senwave’s New Retail Solutions offer a variety of solutions to get you started on your digital transformation. Get in touch with us here!