With the rise in e-commerce and increasing ability to buy anything and everything online, it may seem like the store that you built from the ground up could become extinct in the near future. But according to a recent study, researchers found that even though consumers can buy what they want online, a whopping 90 per cent of them simply don’t want to.
So, even though the digital world has simplified almost everything, it turns out that people are still finding joy and pleasure from taking the time to browse around a store and keep their shopping experiences local – good news for small businesses and independent retailers, to be sure.
Here are five reasons brick-and-mortar stores aren’t going anywhere.
- One of the biggest reasons brick-and-mortar stores are the most popular among consumers is because people love to touch products before purchasing. In fact, according to this study, people are more likely to buy merchandise if they have the opportunity to feel it first! So, if you’re looking for a relatively easy way to increase your sales, display your products in a way that makes them easy for customers to touch. Whether you unwrap the plastic protecting of a product or set up an easy-to-reach display table, your customers will love having the opportunity to get a feel for things before opening their wallets.
- It comes as no surprise to us, but another reason people would rather buy a product from a store instead of online is the experience of communicating with salespeople. People find real enjoyment from connecting with, and learning from, sales associates – an experience that disappears behind a computer screen. To take advantage of this, make sure your employees are given enough time with each customer to really develop a connection and rapport. While some customers are looking for a quick in-and-out shopping experience, most will appreciate the time sales associates take with them.
- No matter how much you include in a product description online, consumers would still rather learn about a product from a knowledgeable associate or expert at the store. So while e-blasts and social media posts might be great for marketing, it turns out that people would rather communicate with an actual person instead of a screen. Make sure your customers have an in-depth understanding about all merchandise available, and ensure your employees are caught up on the current industry trends and familiar with your product line.
- If you’ve ever had to return a product you’ve purchased online, you know the process can be more than a headache. One of the reasons people love shopping at brick-and-mortar stores is because of the excellent and readily available customer service they can provide. Whether they want information on a product or need to return merchandise, brick-and-mortar stores are generally faster and easier to deal with than online stores.
- In the end, it all comes down to the love of loyalty. It’s easier to be loyal to an actual shop – and the people who work there – than an e-commerce store. As we’ve mentioned in previous blog posts, people enjoy attaching themselves to particular companies, and when they receive excellent experiences a beautiful thing called brand loyalty is created. Because in-person shopping gives consumers the opportunity to touch, communicate and receive immediate assistance from helpful sales associates, they develop a sense of brand loyalty that simply can’t be found online.