Dec 2018, by Julius Abendan
4 Ways Brick and Mortar Stores Beat E-Commerce
Ever since Amazon and eBay came into the scene a couple of decades ago, e-commerce has slowly but consistently edged itself into the consciousness of the buying consumer. However, even though e-commerce has indeed innovated impressively to transform itself, it is still unable to achieve what brick-and-mortar stores have naturally at their disposal.
Fans of both offline and online shopping can spend days debating on the benefits of both platforms without coming to a solid conclusion. What’s undeniable, however, are the four aspects in which physical retail outlets enjoy advantages that online stores do not.
Opportunity for Personalized Customer Service
Being human as they are, and with humans being social animals at heart, customers really appreciate intimate interaction. That’s what online stores don’t have that physical outlets have aplenty. With a physical store, retailers and their sales staff have the unique advantage of being able to cater to their customers’ needs, right when they need it.
Better yet, because they can personally interact with customers, the sales people of the physical retail stores can tailor each individual customer’s experience to fit their unique preferences..
Instant Availability
There’s no denying the fact that services like Amazon Prime have outdone themselves in trying to make shipping as fast as humanly possible for their clients. However, they fall shy of one thing that brick-and-mortars can claim as solely their own - the ability to provide instant gratification.
Despite the popularity of online stores, more than half of consumers in any given area still prefer to buy from physical retail outlets. This is because, in these stores, they can try out the items that they are interested in buying. Whenever they’ve decided to make a purchase, they can have the item in their items within a span of just a few minutes spent lining up in the checkout counter.
Visibility to Consumers
Although they do require a relatively significant amount of investment to setup, proprietors of physical stores enjoy an immense benefit as part of its ROI or return of investment. This benefit is the instant visibility that the store enjoys from its strategic positioning.
By contrast, online stores might not take as much money to setup, but it does require a lot of time and effort in social media in order for it to be visible. With brick-and-mortar stores, however, they enjoy that much-coveted market visibility instantly the moment the proprietor and his/her distinguished guest cuts the ribbon during the opening.
Venue for Communal Engagement
Aside from presenting an opportunity for retailers to personally interact with their target market, brick-and-mortar stores also give consumers themselves a space to meet up and talk. In this age of social media, interpersonal interaction is at a premium and physical retail stores do the community a service by providing communal space for community involvement.
Community service is a must for services, and the ability to do so is an advantage brick-and-mortars enjoy over online stores.
These four advantages over e-commerce show that physical retail outlets, just like print marketing, is still alive and kicking. Looks like we won’t be seeing online retail edging out its most staunch competitor anytime soon.
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