Can brick-and-mortar stores survive in the age of online shopping?
Instore Retail shops may seem destined for the history books but not yet! Many retail experts, including ourselves believe that with some reinvention – high street stores have a healthy future. At Pivotal, we believe in keeping the in-store Retail alive, our shopping destination began here and should continue here.
Online shopping keeps getting easier, faster and better, which is great, as many people avoid physical shopping, especially with the ability to shop right at our fingertips but we believe that brick-and-mortar stores are here to stay. Brands will need to reinvent themselves if they wish to have a constant flow of customers through their doors.
The idea that brick and mortar stores are dead in the water isn’t founded. Some say they aren’t dying – they’re just evolving. According to a study by A.T. Kearney entitled ‘Omnichannel Shopping Preferences’, 95% of all retail sales are still captured in the physical store. In fact many now realise that online isn’t killing the store, it is simply creating an additional sales channel to help retailers build their presence and drive growth, although others say it has damaged the retail stores presence and growth. Most people now browse for items on their devices, but still head in-store to purchase them – it’s a trend called web-rooming and it is one that Forrester predicted would drive future retail sales to $1.8 trillion.
The takeaway here is that the physical store is as much a part of the shopping journey as the online or mobile store. However, bricks and mortar stores are used to create experiences and unique ones at that! Retailers need to recognise the variety of customer touchpoints and how they want to shop, then tailor their offering to match. Physical retail lets merchants connect with customers and build memorable experiences that drive customer loyalty and keep shoppers coming back!
Invest in connecting online with your physical store
Retail is all about having both online and in-store offerings. Customers want to move seamlessly from one touchpoint to the next. They want your business to know who they are, to remember what they like and when they like it and to serve them personal offers or recommendations.
Retailers who are thriving are those who are making shopping from anywhere seamless and easy – whether that’s as a customer who browses on their mobile, abandons their online shopping cart, receives an offer to their inbox, or takes a step into store. So, offering services such as click and collect, delivery and returns that are fast and simple whilst ensuring your online store is linked in with your in-store POS system for stock tracking – can make a big difference to the customers shopping experience.
The reality is that stores like Walmart and Amazon are winning businesses is because they are winning at omnichannel excellence. However, it’s not just big stores who are doing this well, there are many affordable tools out there helping smaller, independent retailers to assist in being innovate and be able to grow too.
This blog compliments one of our previous posts.. ‘How to get the Tail wagging in ReTail again‘, check it out HERE
- Posted by Emma Thorpe
www.scmp.com / www.bizcommunity.com