But if stores were a thing of the past, why are so many of the e-commerce companies such as Amazon, Blue Nile and Bonobos opening brick and mortar locations?
Many people still like to shop.
The internet offers tremendous convenience and, like everyone else, I find myself clicking away when I’m in a hurry or just not in the mood to go to the store. It’s certainly easy to find what I want, select it, pay for it and then wait for it to arrive. But there is something missing from this method of shopping: the tangible experience of actually visiting the store. I enjoy interacting with store personnel, being able to ask questions, seeing my potential purchases for myself and trying them when applicable, which is especially important when buying clothes. I want to know how they fit, feel and look before I make a commitment to buy.
I, like many shoppers, am guilty of impulse buying when I see something that strikes me as a “have to have”-- that I didn’t even know I needed. And, for the retailer, this opens a wide opportunity that only brick and mortar can provide, when presented correctly. The truth is, too many retailers do not recognize and seize this opportunity and that is a problem.
Customers typically do not respond well when approached by the “pushy” sales person. And, on the contrary, they don’t like rude associates who are too busy to and/or are incapable of answering their questions. Customers also don’t care for the store person who, when asked if the store has an item, simply says, “You’ll have to go online” as he or she just walks away. Duh…they have the customer in the store and then wonder why customers walk out and shop online.
But when the store atmosphere is right, the promotional offers are there, the sales associates are engaging and make the customer feel appreciated and special, shopping in-store is still a wonderful experience, only one that brick and mortar can provide.