While the U.S. seems to be well out of the recession, many retail stores are still closing their doors, says Douglas Battista. However, the culprit isn’t a cash flow crunch but a matter of convenience. Online shopping continues to gain speed as consumers can browse virtual aisles from the comfort of their homes. However, there are a few key benefits of a brick-and-mortar shopping experience.
Retail locations cut out the middleman.
According to Douglas Battista, retailers that sell on Amazon, Etsy, and the like must also pay a commission to those sites for making the products available. This can drive higher costs and make it more difficult to move products as many online retail sites have multiple vendors selling the same items.
Small business owners offer better customer service.
Consumers dealing with service issues at a large corporation are often relegated to a number at the end of a long line. Douglas Battista asserts that, by contrast, small businesses often have an owner available who can help customers work through problems on the spot.
Relationships and connections are easier to establish.
Emotions oftentimes drive shipping decisions, says Douglas Battista. This holds true when shopping. A physical storefront offers consumers the opportunity to touch and feel the products that spark their interest. This helps create a connection to the product and leaves behind memories of being in that location. This is especially important for small shops that offer handmade goods or customized services.
Retail locations can focus on their demographic.
Douglas Battista explains that every business has a target demographic. And, in the case of a retail store, that demographic likely lives and works in close proximity to its location. It is much easier for a shop owner to better know his customer base when he or she is physically in contact with them each day.