There was a day not that long ago that everyone had to go to a retail store when they needed something. Today more and more we are becoming used to the idea of ordering things online and just waiting for deliveries. We have seen the decline of some of the largest retailers brought about by the popularity of online buying.
So, given that we have seen a huge decline in brick and mortar retail does that mean that we will soon be seeing that last of them? Some people say no, it’s not the end of the brick and mortar stores that a lot of us grew up with.
Physical retail space must evolve to survive. One of the tricks to surviving in the new convenience economy is competing on the service experience. Apple stores are a good example of a retailer that has done a good job of providing customers with an experience. They can try new products, ask questions of knowledgeable sales associates and learn how best to use them. This experience is preferable to many customers over an online experience.
It’s going to be critical for retailers to offer their customers more than just a shopping opportunity, but an experience. Stores must also work on ways to bring prices more in line with what online retailers offer. Retailers must find better ways to address the challenges between e-commerce and store front operations.
But while the discussion continues on the future of the storefront retailer there is also the fact that people like to go out. Though it is easier and sometimes more convenient to do shopping online and wait for delivery there is still a certain enjoyment associated with going out to shop. This natural human desire to be outside and see new things may insure that brick and mortar stores will still be around for some time to come.