Many small and independent retailers feel the effects of the growing popularity of online shopping that most of them have diverted their advertising money to their online stores. According to Commerce Department figures, online and mail order sales nationwide have increased by 11% in October from a year earlier compared to the 2% increase in overall retail sales.
One example is JAM Paper. Most of the revenue of JAM Paper comes from their online store that is why it has decided to scale back from 5 retail stores to a single Manhattan location. When its website was launched in 2007, it immediately became national. Based on estimates, online sales will be up by 30% this year while the store that is located near the East Neighborhood Village will likely experience an incremental increase.
There is actually enough room for online and offline stores but because of the increase in competition, store owners have to satisfy consumer demands for convenience, right merchandise, customer support and favorable experience while in the store or in the website. Retailers must also ensure that both their brick and mortar stores and online stores will bring in the sales.
The retail store can be used for billboard advertising. Customers can purchase a number of items from the physical store and make bulk orders online. Most of the customers that visit the physical store will likely inspect the products that they have already viewed from the website.
However, there is still a place of small retailers as long as they provide consumers with excellent customer service and the emotional experience they seek. Stores that have friendly staff who make the effort to explain the merchandise can appeal to customers who prefer to shop online. It is important to provide customers with an experience that is better than what they receive online.
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