Browsing a website and clicking the mouse a few times to make a purchase appeals to many people. However, there are aspects of shopping that you miss when you buy online. There are definite perks to visiting brick-and-mortar stores to find exactly the items you want and need.
When shopping online, consumers must wait for their items to arrive by mail or delivery service. Shipping charges can be expensive, depending on the retailer. Delivery often takes several days to more than a week. The alternative when buying online is to pay for expedited shipping, which can be exceedingly expensive. In contrast, visiting a business in person allows the consumer to leave immediately with their items in tow without any unpleasant waiting periods.
Browsing stores can be an enjoyable pastime for friends and family members. The combination of browsing and visiting with companions is a typical social activity for many people. It’s also possible to get feedback and input from others while shopping to help with purchase decisions.
Visiting a store in person results in a special experience for many people. Talking with sales people, wandering around the store, taking in its atmosphere, touching items and seeing them in person, and trying on clothing are all experiences that tend to make people spend more money. When employees are well-trained and knowledgeable about products, this can drive sales even more. Helpful employees at a brick-and-mortar stores create a huge edge over e-commerce websites that leave the customer to browse alone.
Supporting Local Merchants
Spending money at a brick-and-mortar, especially a local merchant, has a personalized connection. Making purchases with a local merchant supports small business. This support can maintain and even help small businesses grow. Specialty stores and non-chain venues are particularly vulnerable, and they rely heavily on local traffic to succeed.
Because brick-and-mortars have a corner on the old-fashioned experience, their current challenge is to incorporate the latest technology into the shopping experience to satisfy tech-savvy consumers. People hunting for the best prices are wielding their smartphones with increasing frequency. Businesses offering technology that enables price comparisons, digital coupons, and targeted, personalized promotions based on consumer preferences will resonate with consumers.
When consumers desire a personal connection with real salespeople who are eager to assist, there is no substitution to visiting a store in person. While e-commerce websites offer the convenience of buying at any hour of the day or night, sometimes there are other things that are more important.