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Should You Give Up the Brick-and-Mortar?

May 16, 2016

 

For a while now we’ve been talking about the current and future status of brick-and-mortars. While we’ve decided they’re certainly not dead, there is something to be said for knowing when it’s time to cut the cord and take your business online. Last month Michael C. Fina announced they were doing just that.

 

When foot traffic has increasingly been on a downward spiral, that should speak to your business - not that it’s failing, but that with the changing times, it might benefit you to take your company to a different platform. Usually this means a business might add an e-commerce portion to their website, but for some, like Michael C. Fina, it meant saying goodbye to a storefront completely and teaming up with Amazon to go 100% online. 

 

As the company explains, it’s about listening to what the customers want more than anything, since at the end of the day they are the ones helping you generate a profit. We know one of the best ways to get - and keep - customers is by providing a seamless, convenient, and frictionless transaction experience. In a sense, you must follow the customers where they want to go, and in this case they wanted to go online. 

 

In some other cases, this would not be the best choice. For companies that have developed a culture and experience within their customer transactions, going completely online would surely defeat the purpose of their business. Starbucks is a great example here - while they do have mobile payments, imagining having no storefront and having to order everything online and having it what, delivered to your house or business? Customers would probably not follow that chance. Especially since half the experience is sitting in their comfy chairs and having a meeting with your coworker. They’ve created something that’s stable and, more importantly, relies on the face-to-face and on-site transactions. 

 

Again, while it depends on the industry and how you run your business specifically, it is always a good idea to check in with your customers and see where they’re flocking to - you might need to follow them online sooner than you think.

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