The Internet has changed the way we shop forever. Big box stores are having problems finding ways of attracting customers to their brick and mortar stores. They are having to turn to the Internet themselves to make the majority of their income.
The reason behind the Internet shopping revolution is two fold. First you have the lazy factor. People do not like having to go out in the cold and rain to buy things. Sounds pretty terrible when it is put that way, but it is true. The second reason for the increased use of the Internet is that in many cases Internet retailers are cheaper than the traditional brick and mortar stores. With the introduction of free shipping, the deals are just better online.
Electronics are leading the way
The first industry being affected by this change in the way people buy is the electronics industry. Places like Best Buy, Circuit City, and Fry’s Electronics, have had sever problems, because you can go online and find your gadgets at significant discounts. (Circuit City even went out of business, though they are now an online retailer). This is why they are struggling to find ways to bring customers to their online stores.
Whether it is coupons getting a free shipping coupon from Best Buy, or having them offer free in-home installation of major electronics purchases like home theater systems and refrigerators. They are finding that they have to be creative with their deals if they want to be competitive with the stores that have flourished on the Internet.
This is changing the way people shop
While online shopping has and will forever be the original starting point of this revolution, there are still changes ongoing. Now people are using their smartphones while they are at brick and mortar stores to check prices. If they find it cheaper online, they can buy it right from their device.
While traditional retailers are having problems with this, it actually represents a major opportunity for them. If they can offer cheaper prices, and offer a supreme experience, they will make more customers buy from them. Especially since people want their gadgets now, they do not want to have to wait for the FedEx guy to bring it to their front door.
In the end it is all about the experience. If a customer is already in the brick and mortar store, then they are more likely to buy there if they find cheaper products and a great experience. You cannot get help as easily online as you can when going into a store. The human-to-human element of asking questions and getting answers is not as good online through chat or email. This is the advantage that the traditional retailers must play up if they hope to survive the online shopping revolutions.