Ever since the internet has started offering convenient ways to shop, people have been wondering if the death of brick-and-mortar shopping was near. Some shoppers wonder if one day there will be no physical locations to go to because they swear that the B & M fate is sealed. There may be some elements that keep B & M buildings in business for the duration, however. Let’s take a closer look.
The Convenience of Online Shopping
We live in a time when convenience is king and attention spans are short. Thus, the simplicity of online shopping has made it a ritual and a go-to option for most people who have computers. Consumers love the privacy and the personal space that they enjoy when they shop in the confines of their bedrooms. They appreciate the ability to compare pricing in a number of locations and then choose the items that they want to buy without offending a provider. Additionally, they like having their items shipped to them and saving money on fuel costs and such. Those three reasons are the main reasons that online shopping continues to garner attention and popularity.
The Stability of Brick and Mortar
Even though consumers have various reasons for their online shopping, that still doesn’t erase the stability and reliability of brick-and-mortar establishments. There are some things that a person can get from a brick and mortar business that he or she just can’t get online. One of those elements is an up-close-and-personal relationship with the store staff. Shoppers who buy their products online don’t get the opportunity to get superb customer service from their favorite provider.
A return or exchange is something that a person cannot do online either. They can process the transaction, but then they have to wait for the post office to deliver their goods. Instant gratification is another thing that one can get from a brick and mortar location that he cannot get anywhere else. If you buy something from a physical location, you get to take it home and use it that day. You don’t have to wait for anything. Many consumers continue to frequent physical locations for that reason. Furthermore, brick-and-mortar locations offer an element of warmth.
Current Shopping Trends
Current retail trends are still showing that brick and mortar locations are still popular despite the growth of the online shopping industry. A.T. Kearny Omnichannel conducted a study in 2014 that revealed that consumers preferred to shopping at physical locations rather than conducting their shopping online. Another study
In 2016, 90 percent of consumers were still visiting brick-and-mortar locations, said the CEO of Perfect Corp. More consumers were using their mobile phones to aid them with their purchases, but they were still visiting the old-school locations to make their final buys. Timetrade Research calculated that 85 percent of consumers were still visiting physical locations to buy their goods. That information along with the knowledge that online stores keep growing is enough to draw a conclusion about the fate of B & M stores.
Final Thoughts on the Matter
Online shopping has a lot of appeal to it. It provides privacy, special discounts and an overall feeling of consumer independence. It introduces the shopper to a whole new level of freedom, as well. Tech-savvy consumers love doing their own shopping because it makes them feel like they’re in control of their lives and doing something important. However, there are some important things that the online experience just can’t provide, and that’s why consumers continue to frequent their favorite physical stores.
It doesn’t look like brick-and mortar-buildings are going anywhere anytime soon. They’re a strong force that will remain intact. Online shops will continue to advance in their technology and offerings, but there will always be something personal about the brick-and-mortar options and the people in them that keep customers coming back to them for the duration.