Has Online Shopping Finally Demolished Bricks And Mortar Retail?
It’s a dark time for retail store owners. Away from the larger shopping malls, the situation on many high streets is the same. More stores than ever before are shutting down, as the online giants – Amazon, eBay, Etsy etc. – are ruling people’s pockets. While this is expected of the smaller businesses who are always going to struggle against the rise of eCommerce stores, it is also affecting larger, national stores, as illustrated in the article at https://www.express.co.uk/. E-retailers now have the majority stake, but does this really sound the death knell for retail store owners? The answer is partly down to you.
A word for the shopper
As the shopper, you have the choice: shop online or at your local retail store. Which do you prefer?
The reasons for shopping online are many. There is the convenience factor for a start. You don’t have to trail out into town, as you can shop quickly and easily on your computer or smart device. You can also avoid the crowds, especially during busier periods, such as holidays and weekends. Let’s face the fact, shopping at the click of a button is easy. We even advocate it here, http://xwhymagazine.com/. Still, if this is something you do on a regular basis, we are sorry to say it, but you are part of the growing problem for retailers.
We aren’t telling you where to shop, but if you don’t want to see small businesses going under, do your bit to help them and continue shopping at your local store. In fact, there are many reasons why you should opt for a retail business anyway. You don’t have to wait days for your goods to arrive, returns policies are generally more straightforward, and you can have a more hands-on approach with the goods you are looking to buy. Looking to buy a new pair of sneakers? At least you can try them on at a retail store and test their comfiness. You can’t do that online, not even with the latest in virtual reality!
Our advice: mix it up a bit and get the best of both worlds!
A word for the retailer
If you run a retail store, we feel bad for you. Knowing your customers are migrating to your online counterparts is tough, and you are likely having to cut your prices, which won’t help your ailing profit margins. Still, there are ways you can turn things around. If you haven’t shut your doors just yet, consider the following.
– Improve the design of your store, and catch the eye of potential customers as they traverse the high street. After all, a generic looking store isn’t going to attract many people. Check out the awesome services provided by the folks at https://www.design4retail.co.uk/ for starters, and focus on the store design, inside and out.
– Focus on your relationship with your customers. By adding a personal touch, with a friendly and respectful attitude, you can make your customer’s day, as well as helping them with the shopping experience. That’s something a chatbot isn’t able to offer.
– Beat the online giants by using the internet to your advantage. This includes setting up a website as an extra way to sell your goods, using your social media pages to promote yourself, and using the power of location services for retail outlets – check out https://momentfeed.com/ – to generate more foot traffic to your store.
The tide is turning, and as this 2017 survey, https://www.pwc.com/, illustrates, shoppers are now favouring the online shopping experience over the retail alternative. At the moment, however, there is still a little bit of an overlap, but the figures don’t look good. As more people opt for internet shopping, it won’t be long before eCommerce takes an overall majority. This is either good news or bad news depending on your point of view, but if you were to ask us how it makes us feel? To be honest, the closing down of our high street store makes us feel a little sad, for the sake of retailers and our feelings of nostalgia.