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The Truth About Brick-and-Mortars' Future

With the increased mobile browsing and spending we’ve seen lately, it might make it easy to conclude that brick-and-mortars is a dying breed. Yet when we take a closer look, it becomes fairly evident that that’s not nearly the case. What we can conclude from really analyzing spending patterns is that if anything, consumers are simply looking for a more personalized shopping experience. Someone may shop online and read reviews only to make their way to the store’s physical location for making their purchases. Since we have all the devices we would need to access the Internet and there’s a wealth of information regarding reviews and competing products, more than ever potential customers are doing the legwork at home. This makes sense, if we think about it. At a brick-and-mortar, the merchant chooses what products and prices you see, so if you only stop at one place, you might be missing other versions and competing prices. When consumers look online first, they can get an objective overview of what’s out there, what the cost is, and where they can find it. The last thing a consumer wants is to drive around to five different stores across two states to compare products and pricing.

But hold up before you take down your storefront and take your business completely online. Compared to what the current buzz might be telling us, customers WANT to shop and make purchases in-store. Additionally, it can be especially helpful to have physical stores for certain industries. For example, people like to sit in and feel a couch in the warehouse before purchase, and they might want to try on a bunch of jeans so they can pick their favorite pair, or they need to smell a variety of perfumes before finding the right one. Additionally, if your storefront has a certain culture or lifestyle associated with it, then all the better! We’re referencing places like Starbucks here where people want to be there and stick around in that environment - they have seating and it’s simply a social place to be. In the end, the more you are able to integrate your mobile and brick-and-mortar channels and focus on the customer's needs to make a smooth browsing and purchasing experience, chances are you’ll find it a lot easier to attract them to your storefront.

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