It looks like the internet is taking down yet another industry. eCommerce is growing worldwide on average 20% per year, it’s spreading like fire. Every day there’s a new name in the market and this is forcing retailers to switch to eCommerce. Brick-and-mortar retailers are suffering, as more people continue to do their shopping online. Stores are shutting down and malls are turning into ghost towns. Huge brand names like Walmart, Macy’s, and Target are slowly moving their businesses online. So where do you think this is heading? Will physical stores ever become ancient history or will eCommerce eventually fade away? Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why retailers are moving to online stores.
Why Physical Stores Are Switching To Online Stores
1- A wider geographical range: A huge platform like the internet gives online stores a wider range with the ability to target customers from all over the world.
2- Lower costs: With online stores, your business is free from having to pay high rents, decoration fees, electricity bills, and more. Not to mention the expensive startup costs required for storefronts, opening, staff and more. Instead, you can build up a simple website for a few hundred dollars or even start your business on social media.
3- Store availability: Online stores can be opened for customers to shop from 24 hours, 7 days a week. While physical stores close overnight and during the holidays. This is more convenient for shoppers and can still get you revenue while you’re on vacation.
4- Supply on demand: There’s no need to stock online stores and wait for customers to make their purchase. All you need is one piece of each design to display on your website and make orders upon demand.
5- Easier success measurement: Online stores help you get a closer look at your customers’ shopping behaviors which makes it easier for you to predict what they’re looking for and provide it for them.
6- Better sales: Being able to give your customers what they want, in a more convenient method brings in more sales. They can buy anything they want, anytime, anywhere. Whether from the comfort of their own homes, their offices or even on the go, and that’s the best gift online stores can provide for shoppers.
Online Stores Are Still Not Enough
Technology has come a long way in eCommerce, but with all the perks of online shopping, many people are still hesitant to shop online. Maybe it’s because they still feel unsafe using their credit cards online. Or the lack of immediate face to face assistance or maybe they actually enjoy shopping. It’s still a social event which people enjoy with family and friends, you can’t deny that. In addition, people will always want to touch, feel, and try on clothes before the purchase which you don’t get with online stores. This could be the top reason why people are still shopping offline. And then there’s the immediate ownership of the item shopping on foot, while online customers would have to wait for the delivery.
Physical stores and online stores are both valued for different reasons and can complement each other. That’s why we advise you to integrate between these two channels. For example, you can offer tablets at the entrance of your physical store where the customers can view your products and decide what they would like to try on before even getting into your store. With Online stores, you can offer the click and collect service. This shields you from the burden of delivery and could actually increase your sales as shoppers tend to spend more than they had planned to while in stores.
Simple things like a mobile app, same-day delivery, and qualified salespeople can make all the difference in the world. Give your customers the amazing shopping experience that they seek on both channels. What ideas do you have for integrating online and offline shopping? Let us know in the comments section and learn how a mobile app can do magic to your business by reading this: What Does A Mobile App Mean For Your Online Store.