One of the biggest drawbacks for retailers today is that most of the shopping we do as a society is online, or so it would seem, but according to Charles Keenan of Ngenuity, a payments journal, “brick-and-mortar retail is here to stay, and the struggles of certain stores reflect shifts in consumer demand and location of the real estate, rather than Amazon and other online retailers siphoning off business.” The fact is companies like Amazon are helping bring brick and mortar stores back to their former glory. If you go into Whole Foods today, if you have an Amazon account, you can get a discount on groceries. This is just one way that some brick and mortar stores have a symbiotic relationship with online retailers. The symbiotic relationship extends beyond where you buy your groceries. Most consumers use the “see in store, buy online” mentality, because while you can get clothes and shoes online and hope they fit, it is drastically more sensible to go to a store and try something on and see if you will like it, before you buy it and then in the future you can buy it online because you’re sure of the fit and the size.
Product interaction is a critical part of the purchasing process, we live in a tactile society, so being able to touch, feel and try on products is essential. According to Sandy Skorvan of RetailDive.com, “Having experienced and knowledgeable store associates capable of addressing shopper questions, or equipping staff with technology to help them, is equally as important as brick-and-mortar retailers take steps to stanch sales seemingly ready to slip away to online competitors like Amazon.” This give and take in business is critical for both the brick and mortar stores and those accessed digitally, both for the consumers and for the businesses themselves.