Of all the marketing myths that freely circulate, the one most pervasive and misleading is the gem concerning brick and mortar establishments. According to industry gossip-flingers, the tried and true, physically-constructed store is vanishing and irrelevant. A loser, A dinosaur. Ecommerce will bump aside all contenders from the world of commercial trade. Nothing will remain but digital suppliers. And now the truth –
The age-old store is thriving … and probably will be for quite a spell. The stats nicely bear out this claim. For example, in both Great Britain and the USA, ecommerce accounts for only a fraction of sales. And that fraction is not expanding at the pace forecasters believe. According to the predictions of eMarketer, in the year 2020, online purchases will represent a scant 14.6% of total global sales. That’s still a good chunk of change, to be sure. But it pales next to the colossal inflow generated by the brick and mortar ‘dinosaurs’.
Clearly, a balanced approach is best. Retailers of every description would be wise to keep the shop doors open — while maintaining a robust online presence. This multi-dimensional policy jibes well with the omnichannel model so prevalent throughout the brand marketing space. Simply put, use every resource you can grab.
Still, skeptics will grimace. Look at the digital retail boom. How can the likes of Macy’s possibly compete? Well, that venerable establishment is still drawing store traffic — and is still boasting a sizzling bottom line. Earnings were up last quarter — and not just because of online transactions.
Interestingly, retail foot traffic is being supplied by virtually every demographic group. In fact, folks born between the mid-90’s and early 2000’s are especially fond of in-store shopping. That’s the word from the National Retail Federation.
If you’re still plagued by doubt, consider recent moves by both Amazon and Alibaba, the two major power-hitters of the digital retail space. Both resources recently have plunked considerable cash into the development of their own physical stores. Need we say more?
If you have questions or comments about retail marketing, or about any other brand-related topic, feel free to send them our way.