Breaking News

How Brick-And-Mortar Stores Have Been Influencing the Growth of E-Commerce

How Brick-And-Mortar Stores Have Been Influencing the Growth of E-Commerce

In a move that surprised everyone, Amazon opened its first bricks-and-mortar bookstore in Seattle in November, last year. However, it should not have come as such a shock. Bricks-and-mortar stores have influenced the growth of e-commerce, and will continue to do so, more than the ordinary online fanatic realizes.

Multisensory Engagement

According to Tech Crunch, 73% of customers still prefer to hold, touch and feel products before they make the final purchase. With more and more online tech giants wanting to create a customer shopping experience, bricks-and-mortar stores seem to create a more fascinating journey. So how does this impact e-commerce?

Amazon Sellers are pushed to successfully employ multisensory customer engagements throughout their online stores. Pictures and demos allow you to see and hear the product. Touch, taste and smell are the senses hardest to engage but with some e-sellers offering free samples before purchase, e-commerce is getting there.

Customer Service

Traditions make customers believe that physical stores offer better CS because they offer face-to-face, hands-on help that online has, conventionally, lacked. Ironically enough, the firms offering the best CS in the world are learning from physical and making it digital.

Amazon’s Mayday service is the best example. CNET reports that the average response time of the service is less than 10 seconds. However, easy returns are still an issue. Taking a cue from bricks-and-mortar stores, some online firms, like Banana Republic and Macy’s, are beginning to offer free and easy returns, often with return times longer than what you get in physical stores.

Immediate Delivery

According to AaBaco, almost 60% customers still prefer to primarily shop in physical stores. The website claims instant delivery to be the biggest reason behind the preference. Here, online has a lot of catching up to do.

Amazon, as always, is the pioneer here too, with its Air offshoot developing drones for delivery within a half hour. However, there’s still time before that is developed. Currently, Business Insider reports that charges for same-day delivery are relatively high, with Google charging the least amount (at $4.99). Obviously, customers would prefer to just walk to their nearest physical retailer instead of waiting and then paying more. To emulate physical retail’s quick delivery, Amazon’s looking to offer Air at just $1. With items priced cheaper on online stores, customers might not mind paying a dollar extra to save effort or fuel.

Coexistence is the Future

With more and more online retailers opening their physical stores, we can hope for a time when physical stores will run with data collection and research conducted on their online counterparts. Amazon’s bookstore is currently the best example.

Following their firm belief in customer engagement developed online, the books are placed with their covers out and in clear view of customers. Online reviews are placed, mostly unedited, underneath popular books. Weekly bestsellers have their place of honor, along with books that have more than four stars on Amazon and a collection of Jeff Bezos’ favorites. You can use the amazon app to scan a book’s ISBN and visit its listing for reviews and ratings. The bookstore is also used to promote other items, like Amazon’s Kindle, that are mostly available online.