RETAILER TIPS: From Brick and Mortar to E-Commerce

Monday, October 31, 2016

August 2016, Macy’s announced that they are closing 100 stores. As their executives have indicated, there are “too many stores for the online shopping era.” On the other hand, Amazon, whom one might call Macy’s ‘counterpart in the online world’, has just opened a physical bookstore in Seattle early 2016. What is the trend here? Is a storefront or online platform the way to go?

For retailers that operate in physical locations, going online is a way of expanding reach. When a storefront is the sole channel available, only customers who are close by can physically visit the store and make purchases. As a result, the only pool of customers would most likely be local, and the merchandise is not readily accessible to all potential customers. In the case of e-commerce, more customers outside of the immediate area can now not only become aware of the brand from wherever they are, but also make purchases that can be delivered directly to their doorsteps. This makes the products available to the whole world.

As for online sellers, building storefronts consolidates customer trust. The biggest pitfall in the success of e-commerce nowadays is that most customers still prefer to touch and feel the products before purchasing. Having an actual showroom or storefront makes up for the doubts in quality that online shopping can create. If a customer really wants to feel a product, they have the option to travel and fulfill their needs. This is an example of online businesses doing traditional marketing.

So what is the verdict? Is E-commerce better or stronger than storefronts? Hard to say. It is not the time yet to get rid of all brick and mortar stores, but it is also safe to say that both channels are as important, as they can target different groups of customers. FLOMO holds this belief and provides customers with both experiences—customers can stop by the Moonachie showroom in Bergen County, New Jersey, to feel the products, or order directly from the VIP website. FLOMO strives to provide service of best quality on all platforms.