Brick and mortar stores have found themselves losing a lot of footing to online shopping in recent years. Consumers find online shopping convenient, fast, and cheap. But there are still some things that keep brick and mortar stores competitive, which means they aren’t all dead yet, though they have had to make some significant changes.
Brick and mortar stores fulfill three specific goals: they allow the consumer to try objects before they buy them, to get them immediately, and to return them at will. For items that need to be purchased immediately, brick and mortar stores are completely indispensable. This can also be said for items that absolutely have to be tried, such as clothing, shoes, and furniture.
Unfortunately even these elements are becoming complicated by online stores. Online stores are now faster than ever, which means the buyer receives items in a matter of days. Many buyers now go to brick and mortar stores to try on items, and then buy them at an online venue. Return policies for online stores have also become easier. This means that when at all possible, most savvy consumers will opt for online shopping.
One of the biggest problems brick and mortar stores are facing is that they simply can’t compete in cost without slashing their budget. Brick and mortar stores have a lot of overhead with staff and rent that online stores simply do not need. The only way that brick and mortar stores can compete on price is by further slashing their profit margins and cutting their staff, which are things that online stores have already essentially done.
Brick and mortar stores can find ways to retain their customers by paying close attention to their customer feedback. Customer feedback management software can enable them to identify specific trends and areas that their stores can improve on. Because brick and mortar stores are more personal and friendly than online stores, the use of customer feedback in this way can help them remain competitive. Many technologies, such as Feedback Channels at http://www.mshare.net/feedback-channels, can track all of these things for the business.
Brick and mortar stores, despite online stores, will always have a place, but it’s very possible that we will be seeing less of them in the future. In order to survive, a brick and mortar store requires one of two extremes: to be either a niche market with products that can’t be found anywhere else, or to have a massive inventory at extremely low prices. Shops that existed in a state in between these two have already been going bankrupt and closing down.
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