Can Brick And Mortar Stores Compete With The Internet?

Can Brick And Mortar Stores Compete With The Internet?

The rise of the digital era has brought with it a myriad of
predictions surrounding the future of brick and mortar stores, most of which
are fairly grim. We’re often told that brick and mortar stores are enduring
relics of a bygone era, and that they can’t possibly hope to compete with their
digital competitors now that everybody has a smartphone in their pocket. Is
there any truth to the idea that brick and mortar stores are done for?

While they’re facing a complicated uphill battle, brick and
mortar stores aren’t yet consigned to the dustbins of history. Here’s how some
of them are fighting back against the internet’s ever-expanding economic

If you can’t beat em,
join em

Perhaps the most notable thing that must be addressed when
juxtaposing brick and mortar stores with their online competitors is the simple
fact that they’re not necessarily mutually exclusive actors. Many contemporary
brick and mortar stores have some sort of digital presence on the web, for
instance, and some online retailers have lucrative partnerships with concrete,
real-world partners who still exist on the pavement. Brick and mortar stores
that are going to endure will learn the eternal lesson: if you can’t beat em,
join em.

Just take a look at the impressive way that Walmart has
responded to Amazon’s rapid takeover of countless industries; the company
recently introduced an impressive grocery delivery option in an effort to repel
Amazon’s digital delivery services. By the end of 2018, Walmart’s delivery
service will likely have access to more than 40 percent of all American households,
according to one analysis. Major brick and mortar chains will be following this
strategy in droves, with most of them having already started the digitization
of their old operations.

Smaller brick and mortar stores may struggle to deal with
the digital age, however. Local bookstores, for instance, are almost a thing of
the past now that Amazon is the world’s largest book publisher. Things have
gotten so crazy that Forbes recently suggested that Amazon literally replace local libraries, which caused a huge
public backlash. Many critics of brick and mortar stores allege that Amazon and
other digital behemoths will soon be replacing traditional options whether they
want to go or not, however.

Besides launching digital operations of their own and
maintaining positive reputations on the web, contemporary brick and mortar
stores, such as Wellington’s Leather
, have a few options that can help them remain viable well into
the future regardless of how quickly digital norms and technology proliferate.
This has to do with the fact that mall’s are open longer hours on days like
Thanksgiving and Black Friday. broadened their opening hours over the years in
order to be able to compete with online businesses and are now even open on
holidays. By embracing superb craftsmanship, excellent customer service,
and honing out a unique niche for themselves are all strategies that brick and
mortar stores are already relying upon to fight back against the digital

How brick and mortar
stores will survive

A few decades from now, when the
digital revolution is essentially complete and a whole new stage of economic
and social development has begun, those brick and mortar stores which remain
will have embraced a few strategies that include both an IT and a real-world
focus. By embracing automation, for instance, brick and mortar stores can free
up their human workers to provide better customer service and a more personable
shopping experience, which is something that will always be favored by
consumers who are looking for a human element in their purchasing decisions.
Similarly, collecting huge sums of data is an essential part of remaining
viable in today’s market, and that’s unlikely to change anytime soon.

Only by vacuuming up huge sums of data and putting it to
effective use can smaller brick and mortar stores add enough value to the
shopping experience that customers will still find them worth their while. Competing with e-commerce giants isn’t easy,
but the fact that these faceless digital behemoths have so much success and so
many customers will necessarily blind them to the unique circumstances of
individual repeat customers, who smaller brick and mortars can sink their claws
into for sustainable profits. Similarly, more data means that businesses can
determine where they’re losing money in their daily operations, which means
that they can cut back on costs in order to remain competitive against digital

The future of brick and mortar stores in the
digital age will be defined by how well they define the customer experience and
meet the growing expectations of the modern consumer. Digital shopping is made
more convenient and cheaper by the day, but that doesn’t mean it’s the end-all
of business. Don’t expect brick and mortar stores to entirely disappear anytime
soon; by pioneering new ways of doing commerce that put people and their wants
first, smaller brick and mortar stores and major corporations like Walmart
alike will continue to survive and thrive well into the digital age, even as
companies like Amazon continue to grow in size and scope.