Why Storefronts Are Dying: People Browse IRL but Buy Online

Shopping online is easy. For many people, it is much easier than going to a brick and mortar store. Because of this, more people today are shopping online. And let’s face it – storefronts are a dying breed.

Options

When you walk into a store, you are limited to what you see in front of you. Some stores may offer more through special orders, but it is always a pain in the butt to figure out what you need, get it ordered, then have to go back and pick the item up or have it delivered.

On the other hand, when shopping online there are so many options it is a little overwhelming. Most people would much rather be overwhelmed with options than underwhelmed. Online, a buyer can find any color, size, or style they need, without the irritation of special orders.

Price Checking

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Consumers need the best price they can find for the items they are purchasing. Finding the best price on an item used to mean going from store to store, and sometimes spending all day shopping. Today, however, it is simple. Many people are choosing to go to a store to find exactly what they want… then they go online to find the best price.

Did you know that some are taking it a step further than that? Instead of writing down a price and taking it home, they will check the price of the item while they are in the store. This is easy to do with a smartphone. Yes, while still in the store, a customer can purchase the item they are looking at, without walking out of the store with the item.

Online Coupons

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There are many retailers that are noticing this trend. Because of that, they now offer online coupons, as well as in-store coupons. In fact, it is usually easier to find coupons on the Internet than physical coupons.

It is easy to find coupons for nearly any brand when searching online. Lenovo coupons, cash back at your grocery store, and more are simply a click away. This makes online purchases even easier to consider, especially for those who need to watch their budgets.

Shifting Demand

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As people are buying more online, the demand is obviously shifting. This can be seen in stores closing, malls becoming barren, and parking lots no longer being full. However, this is not being reflected in sales of all stores.

Companies that also sell their products online are still seeing decent sales. Of course, prices need to be competitive to make sales.  Some companies are finding that they can give customers even better prices than before, because when they sell online, they don’t have to give a piece of the profit to the owner of the storefront.

Shifting demand is normal in an evolving world. Everything changes, and this is just one of many changes we will see in the retail business. As people continue shopping online more often, companies will need to change to fit the demand. This is not a bad prospect for companies, it is simply different.

Featured image on home page via Flickr by adria.richards

Resources:

http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/business/news/are-malls-a-dying-breed-330944/

http://www.backtoshoppingonline.com/are-storefronts-dying/

http://articles.latimes.com/2012/apr/26/business/la-fi-mo-walmart-cash-online-20120426

http://sloanreview.mit.edu/the-magazine/2012-fall/54116/what-matters-most-in-internet-retailing/

http://articles.centralkynews.com/2003-11-20/opinion/24898215_1_economic-incentives-parking-garage-empty-storefronts