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Online and Offline Retail are Converging at Last

By B&T Magazine

Online retail and bricks and mortar stores aren’t mortal enemies. Far from it argues Jason Dooris (pictured below) in this opinion piece. And it’s all backed by some juicy examples too. And you can’t argue with that…

Online and offline retail should not be seen as two separate or opposing streams. One influences the other, and brands should develop their offline and online presences harmoniously, in order to create a holistic consumer experience.

Figures from Deloitte from 2015 indicate that the digital space has an influence on a whopping 40 per cent of visits to brick and mortar locations in Australia.

Consumers are increasingly using digital devices to conduct research and price comparison before going into a store. Deloitte has also suggested that if these Australian trends continue in the same direction, we will see digital influence the majority of in-store visits within just a few years.

For some years now, most established brands have begun embracing digital in a big way, which can be seen for instance through the proliferation of e-commerce and the rapid acceleration of digital marketing and non-linear conversion strategies.

But as brands shift and adopt their digital presence, many are not adapting their physical space at the same time. As I said earlier, online and offline should not be seen as two separate streams of a brand’s marketing strategy. Instead, innovative brands might think about adapting their physical spaces into convergent online-offline spaces.

From beacon technology to virtual reality to mobile-led in-store payment systems, digital technologies in the physical space are set to drive retail evolution, and I expect heaps of major players to start jumping on board.

Below are a few cool examples from foreign markets:

Pizza Hut Subconscious Menu: A digital Pizza Hut menu in the UK tracks the eye movements of customers to determine which pizza ingredients they subconsciously desire. You never have to make a conscious decision again!

Tommy Hilfiger Digital Showroom: The global fashion brand launched a digital sales room at its global headquarters in Amsterdam in 2015 – the showroom is centred around interactive screens which truly blend the digital and brick and mortar experience.

Walmart Pay: It just keeps getting easier to buy stuff. Walmart has launched its Walmart Pay system, where people can use their smartphone to buy products in-store. It’s all about omni-channel distribution.

St Helen’s digital clothes rail: St Helen’s department stores in the UK have rolled out clothes rails in their brick and mortar locations which indicate to customers the clothing lines which are getting the most shares, comments or likes on Facebook and Instagram.

Virtual Reality Shopping: Online service Retale has partnered with VR technology Oculus Rift to roll out a virtual reality retail service – instead of simply seeing items on a computer screen, retail shoppers can wear the Oculus headset and immerse themselves in a 360° shopping experience. Dior has also launched a VR headset to give consumers backstage access.

Of course, these examples are all from overseas. What I’d like to see is similar digital innovations being injected into the Australia!

About Jason Dooris

I have created and designed marketing and growth strategies for some of the world’s recognisable brands including Amazon, Deloitte, Saatchi and Saatchi, Optus, Virgin Mobile, Big W, Woolworths Supermarkets, Dan Murphys, Nespresso and Landlease. I have also worked with many Government departments on culture change and identity branding.

I am passionate about people leadership and development - empowering and engaging large marketing and brand teams through coaching, training, and mentorship for performance excellence. I currently lead a global/remote team across multiple locations including Australia, Argentina, Hong Kong and China.

I have a proven history of achievement in delivering corporate growth plans, and successful marketing initiatives to stimulate revenue growth and outperform sales objectives and have strong digital technology capabilities in advertising, communications, social media, marketing, and creative agency management.

My career experience has enabled me to present and speak across numerous platforms and industries as a subject matter expert, namely: ABC News, Sunrise, for the Australian Government, IBM Annual Global Conference, Emirates Annual Conference, AMP Board, New York Art Directors Club, Media & Marketing Europe, Australian Financial Review, and Web Summit.

I also volunteer my time and give back to the community via Board and Committee memberships.

Some key achievements and skills:

Ø Exceptional abilities in the development/implementation of marketing and growth innovations, ensuring business sustainability and continuous growth while cultivating strategic partnerships.

Ø A high impact leader and influencer with proven expertise in directing/coordinating all top to bottom functions of marketing, media, data analytics, traditional, & digital creative campaigns, business processes and performance groups.

Ø Completed large scale advertising and marketing projects, managing the entire product lifecycle, including research, prototype development, manufacturing, sales, branding, and marketing.

Ø Outstanding business and financial acumen with a forward-looking approach and collaborative styles.

Ø Interpersonal dexterity and executive influencing skills to build and sustain strong and mutually beneficial professional relationships with key stakeholders, clients, and staff members.

My area of expertise includes Brand Awareness & Integration, New Business Development, Team Leadership & Direction, Public Speaking Abilities, Consultation Services, Growth Strategies Implementation, Commercial Business Acumen, Hard-Hitting Negotiations, Stakeholder Engagement, Course Marketing, Business Transformation, Marketing & Advertising, Product Development, Risk Mitigation, Advertising and Media Solutions.

Feel free to email me at or visit my personal website

“Its been an exciting first half!” Jason Dooris

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