Brick and mortar stores are here to stay.
This statement may contradict the current popularity of the online shopping industry, especially when it allows you to do quick pricing and products comparison and have your items delivered to the front door without having to leave the house.
But we stay true to the first statement that brick and mortar stores are here to stay. Here are 5 reasons why that is true.
1. There is instant gratification with in-store shopping
One great aspect of shopping at a brick-and-mortar store is knowing that we can walk into the store, select an item, pay for it and walk out with it.
This is especially helpful when you need the item at a moment’s notice, like a cable to replace your faulty modem cable. No one wants to wait for 3 days for internet access!
Sometimes packages arrive at your doorstep damaged after buying it from an online store. You then need to go through the hassle of returning the item and waiting for a replacement to arrive. Physical stores usually wouldn’t have this problem (you wouldn’t go home with a faulty item). On the off-chance that it happens, instant gratification applies to returns as well. Just head over to the store with your item and the receipt, and get a replacement on the spot.
2. The retail experience is still a sought after experience
Shopping at a brick-and-mortar store is like an adventure.
There is a great sense of satisfaction when customers discover a rare find or get a great bargain after negotiating at the store. This human contact creates an instantaneous bond between the cashier and the customer and allows customers to feel good about a purchase.
Many consumers still prefer to buy electronic items in-store because they have the options of testing the usability of the products.
Shopping at brick and mortar stores also allows customers to get a close inspection of the item’s feel and quality.
Online shopping simply doesn’t allow customers to see how a shirt fits, how that jacket really looks like on them, or take a fitting room selfie with the product before purchasing.
In a physical store, customers can see how items really look and work, providing them a tangible expectation of the product that is really satisfying.
That’s why there’s the term “retail therapy” because the experience of touching and buying items really give customers a euphoric feeling!
Be inspired to provide your customers with a great in-store experience!
You can start providing your employees with customer service training and giving attractive discounts and promotions for regular customers. You can also consider investing in furniture that is aesthetically pleasing – anything to keep and increase foot traffic to your stores.
3. Consumer behaviours have encouraged the concept of “reverse showroom”
Reverse showrooming refers to the act of researching online before making a purchase at a physical shop.
The trend of reverse showrooming has popped up thanks to the booming e-commerce industry. Brick and mortar stores are now becoming destinations to select and pick up merchandise, beyond just being showrooms for merchandise.
People want to find out more about the items that they’re going to get from websites and social media, before they make a final decision at the shop.
4. The physical action of shopping is a classic pastime
Shopping is a classic social activity. We’ve been shopping since the days of ancient Greece and we’re still shopping now.
Just go to a mall during the weekends and you’ll notice groups of moms with their daughters, hand-holding couples, friends hanging out…people spending time together with each other. It’s an activity people do together and an experience that cannot be replicated by online shopping.
If you are a brick and mortar store owner, a prime and convenient location is one of the main factors of sustainability. To ensure that your customers continue to make in-store purchases, make sure that your stores are accessible.
5. Brick and mortar stores provide customers with personalised assistance
You may doubt this but customers do appreciate the help from experts when making decisions.
When shopping online, this personal and immediate assistance is not available. They could read through the reviews but it takes time and is not always personalised to their specific use case.
For products that have warranties and may require repair services, customers can have the assurance that any fixes can be done quickly and in-store.
Customer service is brick-and-mortar stores’ opportunity to offer their customers a meaningful shopping experience that transcends the transactional relationship between buyer and seller.
The whole experience of shopping at the store becomes exceptionally pleasant when it is paired with excellent customer service.
So, looks like brick-and-mortar stores are here to stay, eh?
Don’t take it for granted though. The future IS here and only businesses that can integrate both the offline and online aspects of retail will be the ultimate winners.
With that in mind, brick-and-mortar stores and online commerce should work together to provide meaningful and seamless retail experiences to consumers.