On Black Friday, we used to stand in lines for hours on end until stores opened their doors. The people would run in, hoping to not get trampled, and fill their carts with discounted items all over the store. A few cat fights would break out over a pair of heels, TVs would get stolen, and complete madness would occur for a couple hours.
Now, as the internet continues to grow and take over our shopping addictions, the biggest holiday of the year shifts from in store to online purchases. Reducing the lines, reducing the injured, and reducing the chaos. But what does that mean for brick-and-mortar stores like yours?
The Shift to Online Sales Dominance
All over America, numerous brick-and-mortar stores are closing their doors due to a shift in consumers habits to shopping online. With the convenience of shopping from your computer or phone without having to make a trip to the store, consumers are finding easy perks to purchasing online.
In 2019, e-commerce accounted for 10.2 percent of all retail sales, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. The online competition has taken the attention away from the stores and shifted it to finding the items for less work, and sometimes even for a better price.
With this shift, there has been a decline in shopping malls as bigger retail stores such as Forever 21 or Macy’s close. With these retail giants gone, the mall begins to lose its appeal to its shoppers. With less foot traffic, it leads to a loss in revenue and the inability for stores to remain open.
In 2018, the retail closures by square foot reached an all-time high. This included major names such as Sears in multiple shopping centers across the country.
But knowing that shoppers will never completely abandon brick-and-mortar stores, stores began to provide a convenient online alternative to some of their more exclusive items in order to compete with larger online retailers such as Amazon
How Has Online Shopping Changed?
Since 1991, when the internet was opened to the public for the first time, companies such as Amazon began selling products online. But consumers habits have changed since then, specifically in amount spent. On average, shoppers purchased up to $1,007.24 individually in 2018 on items online.
That amount contributes to the $717.5 billion spend over all and continues to increase as shoppers begin their search online before going into the store to purchase. With such a huge change in the habits of shoppers, businesses both large and small have had to quickly adapt.
Online Advertising More Important Than Ever
With the increase in online shopping, retailers have shifted their methods of advertising. What was once printed in a newspaper can now be found popping up on the side of your browser or on your Facebook feed. From pop-up ads or flashing banners to seamless Instagram ads that look like actual posted content to email marketing, the advertising game has evolved as online social media has grown
Companies now hire out to SEO agencies like jWeb Media to provide them with essential SEO, SEM, PPC, and social media marketing services. These companies have the resources and expertise to help you advertise your products locally and nationally via search engines and social media.
The shift from brick-and-mortar stores to online shopping has changed the way consumers purchase. As our needs evolved, the numbers of stores have decreased. But that doesn’t mean they will go away for good.
There are still times when we want to get out of the house or need the product immediately and that will never change for some retailers. They may have less, but through online and brick-and-mortar stores, they will always have more.