May be the Death of Brick-and-Mortar Retail a Myth?

This book takes readers through a 360-degree perspective of social media in businesses.

The endless headlines about the wheezing death of brick-and-mortar retail — about how exactly Americans are surely barreling towards a virtual world dominated by online shopping — make me want to tattoo an image of Chicken Little on my forehead.

The sky isn’t falling regardless of the following facts:

Ecommerce, which turned twenty years old this season, has captured sizable market share. Recent research by Forrester reveals that not merely do about 69 percent of Americans regularly buy products online but these consumers also generally do 16 percent of their shopping online.

ShopperTrak reported that over the last holidays, retailers received about 50 % the vacation foot traffic of 2010.

While statistics such as for example these, especially those citing double-digit ecommerce growth, could inspire a flurry of panic, portend crises, cause tectonic shifts and compel pundits to cluck hysterically, the declare that brick-and-mortar retail is dead is merely ridiculous. Actually, it’s dead wrong.

Related: Why the continuing future of Retail Will Blow YOUR BRAIN

Brick-and-mortar retail was still a $4 trillion market in america last year.

Does which means that that brick-and-mortar shopping is too large to crumble? Definitely not. Walk through most big-box stores today and it’s really possible to find innumerable inefficiencies. A radical transformation is occurring and managers are participating in intense soul-searching. They are trying to best meet up with the demands of what I label “everywhere commerce.”

Today’s individuals are digital, mobile and physical consumers. They expect retailers to be everywhere because they are. Thus, retailers ought to be willing and in a position to adopt technologies, pricing and merchandising to complement the desire by consumers to analyze and buy because they please.

Retailers wanting to successfully survive this transformation should shift their tactics in four ways:

Related: 5 Ideas to STICK OUT When Selling on an Online Marketplace

1. Adopt omni-pricing and get rid of the price differential between online and inside stores. The times of offering 40 percent to 50 percent off the in-store retail price if the shopper will buy online should disappear.

2. Create easy return policies for online purchases. It ought to be as easy to come back an item, regardless of the idea of purchase, waiting for you or via mail. The post-purchase experience is a crucial element when consumers have so many choices.

3. Define the role of the physical store. Since anything can be purchased online, stores must adopt a “wow” shopping-experience technique to entice consumers to get if they are in a store no matter where they researched the merchandise.

And stores should offer some unique experience that consumers cannot get online. Whether it’s the opportunity to touch and feel merchandise, observe how components can fit together or gain professional advice from customer support reps or kiosks, the shop must provide a compelling reason to exist.

4. Stop measuring online sales against in-store results. Retailers should track overall sales and understand how customers shop in every stores. They should apply what’s working, eliminate what’s not and constantly seek to improve sales and brand loyalty.

Those that take these suggestions seriously will continue steadily to flourish and stand as vital members of the marketplace.

For the record, I’ve found a talented tattoo artist. And his parlor, a physical space where he does actual face-to-face, hands-on business, is fabulous.

Related: 4 Things Shoppers Want within an Online Retailer’s Return Policy (Infographic)

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