11 Jan Brick-And-Mortar

Living in the digital age doesn’t mean shopping at physical stores is a relic of the past. Consumers are still frequenting brick-and-mortar locations, even if their product research starts online. As a matter of fact, online retailers are expanding into physical stores to capture customers who prefer the in-person shopping experience to online transactions.

Convenience and extensive options are two of the biggest benefits of online shopping. Consumers can purchase products at their own pace and even determine when and where their order will be delivered. With an industry-wide push for faster, more personalized service, shoppers can receive their deliveries from anywhere between ten days to ten minutes after purchase. Since most online retailers carry items from various vendors, shoppers can also combine diverse product offerings that aren’t carried by the same merchant.

When taking these perks into account, it’s no wonder many people enjoy the option to shop online. So why is shopping in physical stores still so popular? And why are online retailers looking to acquire physical spaces of their own? Well, shopping isn’t always just about making a purchase. For many consumers, going to the store is an opportunity for a family outing, social time with friends, or a solo day on the town. More than just a means to acquire goods, shopping is an entertainment and leisure experience in and of itself.

In-person shoppers also benefit from real-time customer service that doesn’t require waiting on hold and isn’t dependent upon an internet connection. Store associates are often close by to answer questions, direct shoppers to appropriate sections of the store, and add a human element to the check-out experience. Perhaps the most important element of the in-store shopping experience is assessing the look, feel, and quality of a product in-person. While in the store, customers can try on clothing to ensure a proper fit, check for defective materials, and take advantage of specials and competitor discounts.

For the modern retailer, the most effective game plan for the future includes options for both online and in-person consumerism. Though customer demand can fluctuate depending on everything from the economy to the weather, having a model that supports digital and physical customers will put you in the best position to succeed.

Bruce Freides