Why Retailing Is Still The Future
If you think brick-and-mortar retailing is dying and that soon the whole world will exist in some digital landscape defined by Google and Facebook, then you should read this article by the Washington Post.
Of course, bookstores are not the only retailers alive and well in the Internet age. Remember when Blockbuster was supposed to have killed the movie theaters? And yet, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” made history recently by becoming the movie to hit the $1 billion revenue mark faster than any other movie before, proving that people still like to watch movies in the theater.
There were also rumors that Netflix killed off Blockbuster, but the bean counters say that’s not true either.
The point is, retailing is still big business, and I suppose it always will be.
Why People Will Always Buy From Retail Stores
Yes, we’ve said that e-commerce is a big part of today’s retail business and that all retailers should have an online presence. Still, you can’t ignore that people are still walking into your brick-and-mortar stores. It isn’t that you should close your physical locations and simply everything online. Instead, the opportunity for retailers is to figure out which channel your customer wants to buy through (it’s different for every customer) and reach that customer through that channel.
In other words, multi-channel retailing today’s business imperative. That means, instead of choosing between brick-and-mortar retail and digital retailing, your business will be more profitable in the long run if you offer customers purchasing power through both channels. And mobile too.
By providing this multi-channel experience for all of your customers, you increase the chances that customers will buy from you, but you also increase the chances that they will visit your physical store locations–even if they don’t buy from you at that time.
Customers like options. They always have. Your challenge in the 21st century is to provide those options for as many customers as possible while making sure the customer experience is as good as it can be through each channel you provide that experience for. That’s why even Amazon–a traditionally electronic business–is opening up physical store locations.
There’s a part of every customer that likes to walk into a physical storefront and touch the merchandise before they buy it. Your job as retailer is to entice them to do that. If you can’t do that, then by all means sell the customer through a digital channel. A sale is a sale.