The way forward for retail is Bricks and Clicks. In an article earlier this year Justin Taylor head of EMEA retail trying to console Bricks and Mortar retailers said: “despite the impact of e-commerce, physical stores remain a cornerstone of consumer engagement”.
The question that remains to be answered is: Why is online retail growing worldwide and, at the same time, Bricks and Mortar retailers that are not engaging their customers online are closing down?
Why do Bricks and Mortar retail customers shop online?
If Bricks and Mortar retailers are the cornerstone of customer engagement, then where have their customers gone to? The customers of Bricks and Mortar retailers probably left because they find online shopping to be more convenient:
- They can shop 24/7 from anywhere;
- They can get more information about products and services online;
- They can go online to search for specific products and where to find them;
- They can compare the prices of products online; and
- They can share their experience online with friends, family and social communities.
In spite of the fast growth of online shopping, many retailers that are doing their business only online (Pure Clicks) are now starting to look for physical retail space.
Why are Pure Clicks retailers looking for Bricks and Mortar retail space?
It is not a simple matter of Bricks versus Clicks says Justin Taylor. Physical stores remain a hugely important part of the retailing mix as they offer the ability to interact with merchandise, instant gratification for consumers, personal service and professional guidance.
We have seen the migration from bricks to clicks, and the pattern in some instances is now heading the other way as brands born online are now seeking physical space. The answer is Bricks and Clicks retail shops that have both physical and online space. Bricks and Clicks retailers have the best of both worlds.
Integrating the physical with the online may pose a challenge for most retailers. eBizplan, a management consulting business can help retailers to run the physical and online business as one.