When online stores started becoming a more popular way to shop, pundits predicted the death of all brick-and-mortar stores. Here we are, more than a decade later, and we still have physical stores. There are some brick-and-mortar retailers that became giants on-line and there are some on-line brands that have opened a physical store.
Some of the brands that opted to start online and then get physical are listed below and they have become even more popular because of their brick-and-mortar store.
- Warby Parker
- Beta Brand
- Bauble Bar
There are other physical retailers that offer a an online shopping experience as well:
- Best Buy
- Urban Outfitters
What are the Advantages of a Brick-and-Mortar store?
- Customers are able to interact with products
- Sales people can provide face-to-face interaction
- No shipping fees
- Instant gratification
What are the Advantages of an Online Store?
- Less time consuming for customers
- Easier to search and research products
- Quicker cost comparisons
- It is open 24/7
So, going back to my original question, is one the death of another as it was once predicted?
Since we focus on the consumer technology market, we strongly believe brick-and-mortar stores need to adapt to the changing retail landscape. Shopping in stores can be time consuming so they need to make it more entertaining and well merchandised. Also the sales staff has to be top notch and offer outstanding customer services and know more about the products than the customers. Additionally, stores should have same day delivery on large scale items which in return would mean they can beat their online counterparts.
There are some items that lend themselves to be purchased online more easily. Most of these products don’t require customer interaction or are possibly a repeat purchase. However, there are some products that need to be touched and experienced like laptops and home appliances. Apple has their own retail stores just so people can interact with their products. This means that retailers and brands may need to offer both options and excel in both areas. It is great for consumers but retailers need to stay on top of changing trends both on-line and in-store.
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