Recently, there has been a burst of online stores on the internet. And with a new store opening up online every other day, a question popped up in my mind “Will online stores spell doom for retail stores?” Maybe they would-or maybe they won’t, the answer lays in how we look at it. I mean retail stores have existed since ages-but online stores are more convenient. It can be really tricky to answer that, but I just thought that I would just try to express my thoughts on this…
# Convenience VS Engagement
I agree, that online stores offer a lot of convenience over a traditional retail store in terms of shopping. I mean, you can get almost anything be it apparels, shoes, bags etc. at the click of a mouse and that too at rates that seem unbelievable. But, on the other hand a retail store gives you a level of engagement that these online stores in my opinion, can never match up to.
Unlike an online store, you can actually feel the product Coupons and compare it with the rest of the available options in real-time. Further, there are people available in the store who can guide you about what’s in vogue and what isn’t!
But, then again a retail store cannot match up to the prices being offered by their online counterparts… So it’s really up to you whether we are seeking engagement or looking for the best price at that moment. That brings me to my second point…
# Everything VS Exclusivity
Personally, I am not a very frequent shopper. But, I have shopped online on a couple of occasions. My experience was good, since the product that I got delivered to my place was good in quality-actually as good as the one available at the retail stores. And I got it at an unbeatable price.
But, I was looking for a product that was very generic. What if you were looking for a very specific product which was exclusive to one single brand? I am sure you would have to go a brand exclusive retail outlet in that case. Isn’t it? That’s called exclusivity, which can only be offered by a retail outlet. It really depends from person to person; some of us are extremely brand conscious, while some of us aren’t.
What I feel is that both online stores and retail stores are equally important, and major big brands will always want to keep some products exclusive to their stores only. Therefore, while online stores are turning out to be the most convenient way to shop at your own pace at slashed prices, Retail stores on the other hand can provide you with engagement and exclusivity.
So, I personally don’t think that they pose any kind of immediate danger to retail stores. As long as brands maintain exclusivity and engagement they will be where they are, and as long as online stores keep offering convenience and discounted rates on products, they are going to thrive. Fair enough!