Brick-and-mortar stores should still account for about 85 percent of U.S. retail sales in 2025.”
It turns out the quote is probably wrong. We recently heard an analyst say that many figures citing 9-15% of online sales are flawed. has dropped the bombshell on the retail industry:
“Brick-and-mortar stores should still account for about 85 percent of U.S. retail sales in 2025.”
It turns out the quote is probably wrong. We recently heard an analyst say that many figures citing 9-15% of online sales are flawed.
When Determining the Percentage of Online Sales, Total retail sales used by the Census include gas, which you can’t buy online, and cars, which some buy online.
They only include what Amazon takes to its third-party marketplace as online sales, not what merchants actually make on their marketplace.
Once you’ve adjusted those factors?
40% of sales are happening online. We know this is troublesome to read, but what does it mean? When did this happen?
Many retailers saw a drop in foot traffic a few years ago when we were being told that the economy was doing better and better. Many thought it was just them. It was not.
It was a 4G network. As 4G networks grew, the need to be on a Wi-FWe network became less frequent, so customers relied more on their smartphones for searches and purchases.
This is the reason why Amazon Prime membership now includes around 150 million users. Shopping on the fly just got a lot easier, no longer limited to a strong Wi-Fi.
How does this affect your retail management?
Does this mean it’s disappointing for brick-and-mortar retail? We do not think so.
First, it’s not like Amazon is anything new. They have been around for a long time. We agree with analysts who believe that the saturation point is close.
If you look at online retailers of books, they were about to destroy retail bookstores. But they didn’t.
In fact, their trade association, the ABA, crowdsourced that the booksellers now operate 4,100 locations, up from 1,651 in 2009.
“What if the people who were going to shop online are stagnating?”
The Consumer Sentiment Index
This shows that consumer optimism is on the rise. At the same time, petrol is also being sold. This trend reflects increased spending and driving.
No one has any idea how soon these optimistic consumers will show up in your store as we come out of the worst of the pandemic.
- Are you actively preparing yourself for this when it comes?
- Are you still buying based on fewer customers?
- Have you deferred upgrades to your POS, CRM, and broadband capabilities?
- Have you allowed your website to be stable with the same content as your competitors?
- Have you ignored social media?
- Will, your employees, be trained to sell your wares instead of just clerks when they come to business?
What should you do to prepare for better times?
Take the time to understand who your customer is
If you don’t have a major operation, take any information from your customer relationship management system (CRM) and sort it.
On a basic level, you should know what your number one zip code is, or better yet, your number one customer phone prefix. At an advanced level, learn how often customers return to purchase from you. Your average ticket price will help you see the broader picture and assess your brick-and-mortar sales over time.
Take the time to understand who your website visitors are. For example, use Google Analytics to understand how people find your website.
There you can click “Organic Search,” “Acquisition,” and “Channels,” then click to see some of the top keywords your website’s visitors used to find you.
Click “Interests,” and you’ll discover the top interests of people who find you and what they share. This will help you find similar people in the market, both online and offline.
invest in technology
Whether it’s your legacy POS system, full-featured website, or a studio to create videos about your products, you should use tech tools to improve your retail management and grow your business.
A cutting-edge, cloud-based POS system can connect the dots between customers, their web behaviors, and their social profiles, giving you the ability to dive deep into their behavior patterns.
A full-featured website is compatible with video pages, testimonials, and stories to stand out from competitors. The web is accelerating from pictures to videos on websites.
Create an area in your store where you can create, edit, and Livestream videos. It prepares you for the challenges of online marketing for an increasingly video-obsessed world.
And know that products marketed with video rather than images have a 65% higher click-through rate.
Take the Time to Understand What Other Facebook and Instagram Pages Like Yours Are Doing
Make sure you have installed the Facebook and Instagram app on your smartphone.
Not sure what to post or what’s in effect? From within the app, click on the bottom right set of three dots. (See the highlighted area on the right.)
In the middle, under the “Insights,” button where you’ll find a collection of information. You can also compare yourself with at least five competitors and see how their engagement and posts are performing.
Take the time to train your employees.
It’s essential to fortify our four walls when customers are demanding an exceptional experience.
We were recently on the phone and in the U.S. One of the largest retailers in the U.S. received 45 minutes of training before going on the floor. We told him there was hardly enough time to teach him how to set the clock and where the bathrooms are.
Big or small, you’ll be known by the agreements you make in the service rather than the hit-out-of-the-park moments of the park.
Two things make up an exceptional customer experience:
- Who do you choose to work with?
- The soft skills you teach to attract customers and build relationships
It takes a lot of retail sales training.
Otherwise, they’ll sell like they were still in their PJs on their living room floor.
Buyers want a human connection.
There is a considerable pushback going on with retailers big and small.
Vacancies in malls and downtown will continue to increase for reasons as diverse as overvaluation on Wall Street, lack of demand for a horrible customer experience, aftershocks from the pandemic, and owners who thought “make it more They will come” was a marketing strategy.
We are living in the time of data. Every click you make, almost every breath you take is being tracked and sold to someone else to build an online profile of you. Smart marketers are already using that data to drive shoppers online.
Shoppers visiting brick-and-mortar shops are looking for something other than huge discounts.
Buyers are looking for a human connection, not just a click; Otherwise, they never leave their couch.
Sync The Online and In-Store Customer Experience
If brick-and-mortar retail were indeed dying, digital brands like Warby Parker, Casper and Amazon wouldn’t have spent money to acquire the best locations for their brick-and-mortar stores. Look what these three digital companies do in their physical stores to complement their online presence:
Warby Parker provides an in-store customer experience that elevates its brand as a welcoming provider of personalized products. Greeting at the door helps to initiate a highly customized shopping experience for the customers and ensures that the customers feel comfortable from start to finish. Salespeople use tablets to increase sales, taking the friction out of the sales process. When paired with a generous return policy, Warby Parker delivers a clean and efficient in-store experience.
Casper announced in 2018 that it would open 200 retail stores. Since then, the indie mattress brand has done an impressive job of advancing the customer experience. Casper’s concept store, The Dreamery, invites customers to pay a fee to take a short nap. Their customers enjoy fresh pyjamas, private pods, and post-nap coffee before feeling refreshed. The Dreamery, in New York City only, offers a shareable experience for potential mattress buyers. Casper’s other stores also give the same impression of expertise in the sleeping area.
Amazon offers a wide variety of storage options for its huge customer base. Two store types, Amazon Go and Amazon 4-Star, made waves because they changed consumer expectations. Amazon Go stores famously don’t require cashiers—customers walk in, grab what they want, and leave. Cameras and IoT devices trace their totals. The Amazon 4-Star Store, meanwhile, stocks items and new and trending items with great customer reviews.
As these companies and all the smaller successful retailers worldwide have proven, We believe there is room for anyone with an eye for innovation in physical retail. Many customers today expect a better in-store experience from retailers, and these expectations will increase as the years go by. Attention to detail, personalization, shareable moments, and unique value offerings have defined the best in-store experiences ever. Still, even the smartest retailers will continue to challenge the status quo to see them come together in new and unexpected ways. How can you please the customers?
Brick-and-mortar retail stores have been hit hard due to Covid-19, but it is still far from dead. Changes already taking place were accelerated, but for brick-and-mortar operators who have been able to do whatever to survive this pandemic, they could find a world of opportunity.
To capitalize on this opportunity, retailers must focus on creating in-store experiences that keep customers coming back.
Online sellers play a huge and growing role in the modern economy. People enjoy the convenience of shopping from their smartphones at two in the morning. The personalization options provide even greater incentives for consumers to use e-commerce channels for certain types of purchases. The same foresight that gives online sellers some advantages can come with huge drawbacks, and retailers who fill those gaps may find themselves busy with customers for many decades to come.