Long live brick and mortar
Although online shopping may see a slight dip in 2023, it’s easy to predict the future. Online shopping will keep growing. However, I will make a further prediction: Shopping at good, physical shops will increase too. Here are six good reasons for why brick-and-mortar shops aren’t going away.
1. Customers want to touch and feel what they`re buying
Clothes are important to people, and no matter how much VR, AR, and AI we can get our hands on, the physical reality always surpasses the digital. Shopping for clothes is about our feelings, and walking around a shop and seeing, touching, and not least, trying on clothes will always be better than any digital solution.
2. Shopping is social
Humans are social creatures. When we’re out shopping with friends and someone says to us: “That suits you!”, that’s when we discover new possibilities and a greater willingness to take bigger chances. Honest shop workers, those who can tell us when we should consider going up a size, are worth their weight in gold.
3. Shopping is exercise
While it’s obviously convenient to shop from your sofa, we all feel the need to get out once in a while to see other people and move around a little. We’re all familiar with the lovely feeling of being on holiday and getting back to our hotel room after a physically strenuous day of shopping in a big city.
4. You are in full control of shipping
All online shopping comes with some risk. You could get scammed. There could be customs fees. Christmas gifts may not reach you before Christmas. You may have to go well out of your way to pick up the package. You may receive the wrong item. Maybe the clothes aren’t as nice as they were in the picture. Shopping in physical stores is practically risk-free compared to online shopping.
5. You know what fits
Everyone who stops by a changing room knows what they’re getting and how well it fits. Shopping online is never like that. If you get the wrong item online, your only option will be to send it back. That’s never completely hassle-free, and it’s not too sustainable either. It may also be a lot easier to find items that fit with what you’re buying when you shop at a physical outlet. Perhaps a belt, or perhaps some socks, a scarf, gloves, or a tie.
6. Shops immediately satify your needs
Customers are getting less and less patient. Nobody can stand having to wait to have their needs met. Physical shops thoroughly beat internet shopping in this area: you can take your goods home right away. If you want, you can even leave the shop wearing your new clothes.
Two final tips
1. Think omni-channel and multi-channel
Omni-channel is about being available through many channels. Multi-channel is also about the customer journey’s presence across multiple channels: customers use the internet to get inspiration, and to support the shopping they do through physical channels. They check if items are available at a shop, and they check if it’s also available somewhere else while they’re there. They also check if the vendor has other versions available. Physical shops that want to keep up will also have to keep up in the digital sphere going forward. A good online and social media presence contributes to sales at the physical shop
2. Don’t just ring up items – style your customers!
Customers can’t get much expert advice online to help them make the right choices. As shop workers, we can challenge our customers, give them the courage to push themselves and take chances. We are experts who follow trends and tendencies, and we help thousands of customers each year. Use your expertise! Help your customers find their style!