What Retail Stores are Doing to Compete with the Online Shopping Sensation
One thing became very clear to us in 2017. The future of shopping will change drastically as online ordering takes the world by storm. Retail stores everywhere are struggling to get by as internet shopping becomes the new phenomena, but physical stores are not dead yet. Instead, they are learning to evolve and trying to adapt as 2018 approaches.
Long past are the days where parents would drop their kids off at the mall so they could venture into the market to pick up their groceries. The future of shopping has everyone purchasing food online and having it delivered the same day. It consists of subscription-based purchases so your makeup, food items, and other necessities are delivered to your door monthly or weekly with the click of a button.
For Instance, Amazon now offers Amazon Prime Fresh which allows customers to order their groceries and schedule the most convenient drop-off time for themselves. You can get same-day delivery on most food purchases, and they offer specialty organic, gluten free, and vegan meals. This poses the following question. Why would one visit the store when they can have their food delivered to them at a desirable time at an affordable cost?
Amazon Prime also offers subscriptions on basic living essentials. You can subscribe to have your toothpaste (or any other necessities) sent to your door monthly. This service is available for many regularly-needed items. Living suddenly became much easier. Errands have become a thing of the past with anything and everything easily available with subscription and “one-click” purchasing. We are flying into an extremely technologically-driven shopping experience in 2018.
Technology has taken over shopping. This doesn’t mean retail shopping is a thing of the past. Rather, it is evolving. Physical stores are finding aspects that people like about online shopping and applying them to their in-store experience. For instance, while shopping online, personalization is an all-too-important aspect. Online stores offer you product suggestions based on other items that you have liked or bought. To accommodate, physical stores are becoming more personable by offering personal stylists to those who come in to shop. Instead of having an associate lazily ask if you need anything, stylists can be scheduled to pull outfits for you in advanced. They can find what’s right for you based on the trends that you like. Nordstrom, J. Crew, and Topshop have all begun this process already, and it seems many will follow behind their trend. Surprisingly, some H&M, Anthropologie, and Banana Republic stores offer personal shoppers, as well, to help you have a more intimate shopping experience.
Because personalization has become pivotal to keeping a business running, many indie stores and privately-run boutiques have become more successful than corporate-run retailers. People feel more comfortable when they can make a connection with the small staff or the owner of the business. They would rather have that close connection with where they shop. They can’t have that going into a store that has thousands of employees nationwide. Because of this, it’s very likely that most retailers will take a more personable approach in 2018.
Retail stores have realized the importance of mobile ordering, as well, seeing as how smart phones are taking our society by storm. This past year, Instagram partnered with Shopify, making “Instagram Shopping” a thing of the future. It is sure to take off in 2018, making more and more sales come through via mobile phones. That is something stores are looking to adapt to, as well. To increase sales in store, they are offering in-store pickup from online orders to bring customers into their physical shops. With Instagram as popular as it is, you can bet that stores will be finding more ways to get Instagram shoppers into their physical locations, as well.
It is clear that online shopping will be a driving force in 2018. Expect to see physical stores adapting, evolving, and adding that personal touch as the future of shopping becomes clear this upcoming year.
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