It surprises most millennials to understand that only about 10 percent of all retail buys are actually made online. Each semester, when I ask hundreds of undergraduate business students to calculate, they consistently guess that between a quarter and one half of all retail spending happens on the internet. But this Martin Luther King Day store closing and opening hours, as ever in the past, the overwhelming majority of purchases will still happen within four physical walls of a store.
This ought to encourage the 1000s of retailers anchored in strip malls, lifestyle centers and mixed use developments. The National Retail Federation expects holiday retail sales – not counting car, gas and restaurant purchases – in November and December this season to increase approximately 4 percent over last year, to just as much as US$682 billion.
Stores will require the money to prevent being put into 2017’s record-breaking roster of retail bankruptcies, store closures and layoffs, which included landmark brands like Toys R Us and RadioShack.
Traditional retailers must give consumers good reasons to visit their stores, beyond product selection and value. Joe Pine and James Gilmore’s 1999 book “The Experience Economy” foretold how savvy companies, like Apple and American Girl, excel by staging compelling experiences that teach, entertain or inspire customers.
The primary asset of a physical store in a digital world is human staffing. Even if a shopper doesn’t want help, a grin acknowledging their presence encourages connection. Front-line employees can ask customers regarding their kids, in-laws or Thanksgiving meal planning. That can lead to an authentic personal connection whereby employees can locate a shopper’s unique wants and respond with products on the shelves, or ordered and shipped for free to the customer’s home. An closing hours can become a seamless blend of the web and physical worlds.
Even Walmart, America’s largest retailer, is moving to a more experiential model. In hopes of boosting sales, its 4,700 stores will host 20,000 parties with Santa prior to the New Year. Customers should be able to take pictures, try out toys and acquire tots excited.
The business has an additional benefit over online sellers, too: nine in 10 Americans live within a quarter-hour of any Walmart store. One thousand Walmarts now let customers drive approximately the storefront to get online grocery orders the same day they’re purchased, at no additional charge. That rivals Amazon’s Fresh grocery service, which comes at an extra cost and zhoqce doesn’t deliver until the next day.
Beyond face-to-face service, successful companies today must develop a deeper connection with their potential customers, whether online or off. Store-based retailers can present their values in such a way that at times may take on a very personal meaning for shoppers and store owners alike. I have been a loyal customer of Gallery Furniture in Houston for a long time. Owner Jim McIngvale, known as “Mattress Mack,” is a marketing maverick recognized for his decades of zany TV commercials pledging to “Save you cash!”
Following the devastation of Hurricane Harvey, he opened his stores to anyone needing accommodations. Some came by boat, with just the clothes these were wearing. McIngvale welcomed 1000s of When does the store close to sleep on his inventory of mattresses. He sheltered, fed and prayed for flood victims. On Halloween, McIngvale flew 50 first responders to Game 6 around the globe Series in L . A ., giving those lucky Astros fans a once-in-a-lifetime experience and emotional lift within the wake of natural disaster.