An interesting question is whether any retailer can make it the future as a pure brick-and-mortar player, given the growth of online and mobile shopping. With this mind, Cynthia Clarke — writing for 1to1 Media — makes a number of interesting observations.
According to Clarke:
“While retail has evolved greatly over the centuries and is unrecognizable from the very early variety that operated on barter system, one thing is certain: Stores are part of the fabric of society, serving not only the need to provide goods for purchase but also addressing humans’ desire for social interaction.”
Yet, although “experts believe that there will always be a place for physical stores, they will only remain competitive as long as retailers are willing to adapt to a changing world. And the first step is to take the in-store experience beyond a simple purchase. ‘Retailers need to disassociate the store experience from buying,’ notes Michael Whitehouse, senior marketing strategist at OpinionLab. The idea is that humans have been congregating in public places since the beginning of time, and this should be one of the functions of physical stores. ‘It should be less about fulfillment, which can be done online, and more about the magic,’ Whitehouse explains. ‘Rebuild a store around connecting product evangelists and providing entertainment and value.'”
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