It surprises most millennials to understand that just about 10 percent of all retail purchases are in reality made online. Each semester, when I ask numerous undergraduate business students to calculate, they persistently reckon that between a quarter and one half of all retail spending happens on the internet. But this closing hours, as ever previously, the overwhelming most of purchases will still happen within four physical walls of a store.
This should encourage the thousands of retailers anchored in strip malls, lifestyle centers and mixed use developments. The National Retail Federation expects holiday retail sales – not counting car, gas and restaurant purchases – in November and December this coming year to increase as much as 4 percent over last year, to around US$682 billion.
Stores will need the cash to prevent being put into 2017’s record-breaking roster of retail bankruptcies, store closures and layoffs, which included landmark brands like Toys R Us and RadioShack.
Traditional retailers must give consumers top reasons to visit their stores, beyond product selection and good value. Joe Pine and James Gilmore’s 1999 book “The Experience Economy” foretold how savvy companies, like Apple and American Girl, excel by staging compelling experiences that teach, entertain or inspire customers.
The main asset of the physical store in a digital world is human staffing. Even when a shopper doesn’t want help, a smile acknowledging his or her presence encourages connection. Front-line employees can ask customers with regards to their kids, in-laws or Thanksgiving meal planning. That can result in a geniune personal connection by which employees can discover a shopper’s unique wants and respond with products on the shelves, or ordered and shipped for free to the customer’s home. An What time does does stores close on sunday may become a seamless combination of the online and physical worlds.
Even Walmart, America’s largest retailer, is moving to your more experiential model. In hopes of boosting sales, its 4,700 stores will host 20,000 parties with Santa before the New Year. Customers will be able to take pictures, test out toys and acquire tots excited.
The company has an additional advantage over online sellers, too: nine in 10 Americans live within 15 minutes of any Walmart store. Thousands of Walmarts now let customers drive approximately the storefront to pick up online grocery orders the same day they’re purchased, at no additional charge. That rivals Amazon’s Fresh grocery service, which will come in an extra cost and zhoqce doesn’t deliver until the next day.
Beyond face-to-face service, successful companies today must establish a deeper exposure to their clients, whether online or off. Store-based retailers can display their values in ways that at times can take over a very personal meaning for shoppers and store owners alike. I have been a loyal customer of Gallery Furniture in Houston for a long time. Owner Jim McIngvale, known as “Mattress Mack,” is really a marketing maverick noted for his decades of zany TV commercials pledging to “Save you money!”
Right after the devastation of Hurricane Harvey, he opened his stores to anyone needing a place to stay. Some came by boat, with merely the clothes these people were wearing. McIngvale welcomed 1000s of christmas opening hours to rest on his inventory of mattresses. He sheltered, fed and prayed for flood victims. On Halloween, McIngvale flew 50 first responders to Game 6 around the world Series in L . A ., giving those lucky Astros fans a once-in-a-lifetime experience and emotional lift in the wake of natural disaster.