Poor Ken decided to buy his washer from a brick-and-mortar store and had all kinds of problems including; his car broke down, rain, traffic, not to mention he opted for no delivery so more hassles there – mainly self inflicted ones.
Meanwhile Ben, chose to purchase his washer online and was at home on his lap top with his lovely wife sipping a warm tea. He decided to get delivery with installation and of course had time for extra smooches with his partner, while dopey Ken was surely not getting ANY (kisses of course)!
It was a very cute and clever attempt to show the up-side to selling appliances online and somewhat exacerbate the down-side of the brick-and-mortar store experience. In fact, we used to see a lot more of this, “bricks-and-mortar is dead” several years ago.
While Ben and Ken might be a little slow, big e-tailers like Amazon, ebay and Shoes of Prey have realised they were losing opportunities because people couldn’t see, touch, feel, and try on their products or simply didn’t want to wait/pay for them to be shipped. Bottom line is, successful retailers are adapting to what best suits their customer, not just what’s best for their bottom line.
Jodie Fox, Co-founder of Shoes of Prey, was just in the media last week talking about the transformation of her business from it’s humble beginning in shoe-design office parties. After transitioning into online, they later adapted to a standalone boutique inside David Jones in Sydney, then opened their own boutique in Westfield at Bondi Junction.
Fox explained Shoes of Prey’s expansion into bricks and mortar was just a part of the natural growth of the company, what customers were asking for.
“We started going offline because the customers wanted to know what the shoes looked like in real life, and that meant they wanted to know what the leather felt like on their feet and all those sorts of things,” she said.
Tim MacKinnon, eBay merchant development director says, “We know that the eBay shopper in Australia spends more as percentage via mobile than any other eBay market, meaning they are always shopping on the go. If they can purchase something on the train on the way to work and pick it up in their lunch break we are taking some of the friction out of the shopping process and creating more opportunities for our retail partners to best service their needs,” he said.
So is bricks-and-mortar dead? Not by a long shot! Seems what is dead however, is a nicely packaged description of what retail now is. Constantly adapting, clever retailers are not concerned about labeling themselves as one or the other, they are simply listening and making changes.
Let’s face it, we too ARE consumers. Sometimes WE want to buy online, sometimes WE want to touch and feel and get a sense of what it is we are buying. It’s not the titles of; bricks-and-mortar, omni-channel, multi-channel, pure-play, e-tailer that we need to be concerned about. It’s really about connecting and providing a remarkable experience for our ‘ideal customer’.
It’s not the end of bricks-and-mortar or e-tailers, but the beginning of a retail revolution.
I’d love to hear what YOU think about it?