Has the evolution of online shopping (or click and mortar stores) made it more difficult for physical stores to be successful?
The common presumption is that the convenience of online shopping renders real-world shopping experiences pointless. But the current impression for many shoppers is that making purchases online is for convenience, not for experience. The real-world shopping experience can never be replaced, and adds value to purchases. As William L. McComb from Forbes points out, there is an “inherent limit of the e-commerce experience,” and that “people still want to see, touch and feel products, and do so with others.”
The lack of tangibility in e-commerce leaves a lot to be desired for the shopper. Brick and mortar stores can capitalize on this by providing a unique in-store experience, and many already have. In today’s market, however, a brick and mortar store needs to have an online presence as well. Online and on-site must exist side-by-side. Until recently, there has been a gap between these two worlds. Today, however, through consumer use of mobile devices, a bridge has been formed between them, and as more consumers use this bridge, businesses are figuring out how to use it as well. Hence the phrase “Clicks and Mortar Stores.”