The competition between brick and mortar retailers and online retailers is nothing but a fight between discounting and no discounting, said Rajesh Jain, managing director, and CEO, Lacoste at the Retail Forum, organized by ET Retail in association with Microsoft Dynamics, echoing the feelings of several others on the panel.“If physical retailers also start giving deep discounts in their stores there will be long queues outside,”.
Consumers still value brick-and-mortar
E-commerce experienced a significant growth rate of 15 percent in 2017, and brick-and-mortar saw a 4.5 percent growth rate the same year.
Research by TimeTrade showed that 85 percent of shoppers still prefer to make purchases in person.
“Sixty-five percent of consumers said they shop in-store to avoid delivery fees, while more than 60 percent said it allows them to have the item immediately. Additionally, 61 percent said they like trying on the item or seeing it in person before buying it.”
The value of seeing and touching a product (especially an item of clothing) before buying it is undeniable. And no one wants to pay exorbitant shipping fees for larger items or items shipped from far away.
In addition to these benefits of brick-and-mortar, some consumers cited ethical reasons for shopping in-store. Supporting local businesses is a major factor for those who cringe at the idea of a homogenized retail world full of Walmarts and Amazons.
Some Retail Giants Who Lead By Example
Many legacy e-commerce retailers and legacy brick and mortar retailers have successfully evolved in this Omnichannel landscape. They show us some excellent means to connect with shoppers through more than a single channel or shopper touch point.
- Warby Parker
Amazon, the e-commerce goliath, is hugely investing in brick and mortar stores. Amazon continues to expand its very own brick & mortar book retail after opening its first Amazon Books shop in an upscale mall in Seattle in 2016. The brand has established a dominating physical presence in the form of Amazon Pop-up Kiosks, AmazonFresh Pickup (a drive-in-type grocery store for Amazon Prime subscribers), Whole Foods stores, Amazon Treasure Trucks, etc
The large chain retail corporation, Walmart, is merging its widespread offline presence with thousands of brick and mortar stores with an impactful online presence. It has also unveiled an online bedding brand – Allswell. Walmart’s biggest strength is its network of more than 5000 stores that act as delivery hubs and pick up points. To facilitate a seamless shopping experience it has also introduced an associate-initiated Check Out with Me – a new service to cut the lining up at the payment kiosks
Wayfair, the reputed American e-commerce brand that sells home goods, has recently revealed its plans to open a first full-service retail store. Though the brand already has some popup shops, this one is aiming to push the frontiers of omnichannel retailing further.
The subscription beauty box retailer, Birchbox, opened its first full-line physical retail store in New York in 2014 and its second physical store in Paris in 2017. It also owns a few pop-up stores.
5. Warby Parker
Warby Parker, the reputed online eyewear retailer who takes the lead in online to offline, has an aggressive brick and mortar strategy. The online-only brand now has more than 70 physical locations and is headed towards a hundred.