Online retailing trends are receiving the most attention these days and thus they should.  Online shopping and purchasing continue to skyrocket. It’s a fact.  But many seem to forget that the store is still important.

The physical store and in-store shopping experience play a critical role in shaping customers’ shopping and buying habits.  They play an even greater role in defining brand image.

While online shopping is expanding at a meteoric pace, over 70% of consumers have indicated they intend to still shop “in- store” as much as before.  This was evidenced with 2016’s holiday shopping.  Over 15% intended to shop in-store more frequently.  In-the-store shopping is by no means dead.

Certainly numerous stores are closing.  Some of the most iconic brands continue to close locations or are going away altogether.  But the real question is why?

Retailing has constantly proven that the customers is always right.  As their attitudes and needs change, retail must evolve to remain relevant.

Very important to the “store” is the in-the-store shopping experience provided as well as their brand. Service is a key differentiator, especially when for distinguishing from online experiences.  Consumers still like direct interaction with people. They value prompt service.  If they don’t receive it, up to 80% are likely to leave the store. They also value a “personalized experience” and “smart recommendations.”

So the store is still very important, but the role of the store, and customers’ in-the-store experience expectations are changing.  Stores must respond by offering a more intelligent store concept and compelling shopping experience—and give customers a reason to shop.

Jim Robisch

Senior Partner, The Farnsworth Group

Are your stores meeting your changing customers’ expectation?  The Farnsworth Group can help you find out.  Contact us today.