It’s hard to believe that just a few decades ago, the only way to buy goods was to go to a physical store. Now, with the rise of e-commerce, buying items online is becoming the norm. In this blog, we will discuss the reasons why e-commerce is taking over and how it will continue to grow in popularity in the next decade. We’ll also take a look at some of the challenges that brick-and-mortar stores face and how they can overcome them.
Why Will E-Commerce Take Over?
There are several reasons why e-commerce will continue to grow in popularity and eventually take over as the primary way that people shop.
The rise of mobile shopping
One of the biggest reasons for the growth of e-commerce is the rise of mobile shopping. With the advent of smartphones and tablets, people are able to shop online anytime, anywhere. In addition, many retailers have developed mobile apps that make it even easier to shop from a mobile device. According to a study by ComScore, 64% of digital shoppers make a purchase on their smartphone, and this number is only expected to grow in the coming years.
The convenience of online shopping
Another reason why e-commerce is taking over is that it is simply more convenient than shopping in a physical store. With online shopping, there is no need to travel to a store, deal with crowds, or carry around heavy bags of purchases. Instead, you can shop from the comfort of your own home and have your purchases delivered right to your doorstep. In addition, online retailers often offer more selection than brick-and-mortar stores, so you’re more likely to find what you’re looking for online.
The rise of social media
Social media plays a big role in the growth of e-commerce. Platforms like Instagram and Pinterest are driving traffic to e-commerce websites and influencing people’s purchasing decisions. According to a report by Business Insider, 78% of millennials say they have purchased an item they saw on Instagram. In addition, social media platforms are an excellent way for online retailers to connect with their customers and build brand loyalty.
The growth of online payments
Another reason why e-commerce is taking off is the growth of alternative payment methods like PayPal, Apple Pay, and Google Pay. These platforms make it easy and secure to pay for online purchases, which makes shopping online even more convenient. In addition, many online retailers are now offering the option to pay with cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, which is another sign that e-commerce is here to stay.
The decline of brick-and-mortar stores
Finally, one of the main reasons why e-commerce is taking over is the decline of brick-and-mortar stores. In recent years, we’ve seen a number of iconic retailers close their doors for good, including Toys “R” Us, Macy’s, Sears, and J.C. Penney. These closures are being driven by several factors, including the growth of online shopping and the rise of mobile shopping. As more people turn to e-commerce for their shopping needs, brick-and-mortar stores will continue to struggle.
So, what does this all mean for the future of shopping? It’s clear that e-commerce is here to stay and that it will continue to grow in popularity in the years to come. Brick-and-mortar stores will need to find ways to adapt if they want to survive in this new landscape.
What are the Challenges Facing Brick and Mortar Stores?
There is no denying that brick-and-mortar stores are facing some challenges as e-commerce grows in popularity. So let’s take a look at some of the biggest challenges they face.
Competition from online retailers
The biggest challenge that brick-and-mortar stores face is competition from online retailers. In many cases, online retailers can offer lower prices, more selection, and more convenience than brick-and-mortar stores. As a result, people are increasingly turning to the internet for their shopping needs.
Decline in foot traffic
Another challenge that brick-and-mortar stores face is declining foot traffic. In recent years, there has been a marked decline in the number of people visiting malls and shopping centers. This is due to a number of factors, including the growth of online shopping, the rise of mobile shopping, and the popularity of experiences over things.
As a result of the challenges mentioned above, we see many store closures. In 2018 alone, over 6,000 stores in the US closed their doors for good. This trend is expected to continue in the years to come as brick-and-mortar stores struggle to compete with e-commerce.
In addition to the competition from online retailers, brick-and-mortar stores are also facing rising rents. The average rent for retail space has been increasing at a faster rate than inflation for several years now. This is making it difficult for brick-and-mortar stores to keep up with their expenses and stay profitable.
Changing consumer habits
One of the last challenges that brick-and-mortar stores face is changing consumer habits. In recent years, there has been a shift in the way people shop. More and more people are doing their shopping online or through mobile apps. They are also less likely to visit brick-and-mortar stores for items that can be easily purchased online. This is having a negative impact on brick-and-mortar stores.
How Can Brick and Mortar Stores Survive?
Despite the challenges they face, there are a number of things that brick-and-mortar stores can do to survive in the age of e-commerce. Here are a few things they can do.
1. Offer unique products and experiences
One of the best ways for brick-and-mortar stores to compete with online retailers is to offer unique products and experiences. Online retailers can’t offer the same level of customer service or the same type of experience. So Brick-and-mortar stores need to focus on offering products that are unique and that people can’t find online. They also need to create an engaging and enjoyable shopping experience.
2. Use technology to their advantage
Another way that brick-and-mortar stores can survive is by using technology to their advantage. There are several ways to do this, including using mobile apps, implementing beacon technology, providing alternative payment methods, and offering in-store pick-up for online orders. By using technology, brick-and-mortar stores can make shopping more convenient for customers and compete with online retailers.
3. Focus on customer service
In addition to using technology to their advantage, brick-and-mortar stores also need to focus on customer service. In many cases, the level of customer service offered by a brick-and-mortar store can be the deciding factor for customers. Therefore, Brick-and-mortar stores need to train their employees to provide excellent customer service and create a positive shopping experience.
4. Offer loyalty programs
Another way that brick-and-mortar stores can compete with online retailers is by offering loyalty programs. Loyalty programs can give customers an incentive to shop at a particular store or chain of stores. They can also help brick-and-mortar stores track customer behavior and preferences. By offering loyalty programs, brick-and-mortar stores can keep customers coming back.
5. Design an eye-catching store
In a world where people are used to shopping online, brick-and-mortar stores need to find ways to stand out. Therefore, they need to have an attractive store design that will make people want to come in and shop.
For example, Apple Stores are known for their unique store design. The stores are designed to be clean and modern, with plenty of open space. This makes them feel more like a gallery than a traditional retail store.
6. Embrace pop-up stores
Pop-up stores have become increasingly popular in recent years. They are temporary stores that are typically open for a few days or weeks. They can be a great way for brick-and-mortar stores to reach new customers and generate buzz.
7. Focus on local shoppers
Brick-and-mortar stores can survive by focusing on local shoppers. In many cases, local shoppers are more likely to visit brick-and-mortar stores than online retailers. This is because they can provide a more personal shopping experience. Brick-and-mortar stores need to focus on attracting and retaining local shoppers.
8. Invest in marketing
Brick-and-mortar stores need to invest in marketing. They need to let customers know about the products and services they offer. They also need to create an advertising campaign that will reach their target audience. By investing in marketing, brick-and-mortar stores can increase their chances of surviving in the age of e-commerce.
The Future of Brick and Mortar Stores
Despite the challenges they face, brick-and-mortar stores are not going away anytime soon. In fact, many experts believe that brick-and-mortar stores will continue to play a vital role in the retail industry. They will just need to adapt to the changing landscape of retail in the age of e-commerce.
This means that brick-and-mortar stores need to focus on offering unique products and experiences, using technology to their advantage, and investing in marketing. They also need to provide excellent customer service and offer loyalty programs. If they can do these things, brick-and-mortar stores will be able to survive in the age of e-commerce.