If the snake in the photo crossed your path while hiking, should you approach him or leave him alone? The is answer is most definitely “leave him alone” - answers to some questions are pretty clear.
But what about this question: Will online retailing or bricks & mortar retailing flourish in the future? The answer is yes! No either or about it.
Mini Case Study: Online Retailing
Online services offer seemingly limitless choice and convenience. Shop for essentials and extras from your device, from wherever you are. Nearly immediate gratification will be yours through immense investment in fast delivery. Online’s major limitation is lack of physical contact with product until delivery.
Mini Case Study: Bricks & Mortar Retailing
Bricks & mortar stores add physical tactile and experiential stimulation to the sale process; selection is enhanced by physical contact with desired product. The store experience is still important to many, and is being quickly improved. The major limitation to bricks & mortar stores is that selection is restricted to individual store’s branding relationships and management. If their vendors don’t offer it, or their management doesn’t buy it, you go elsewhere including online.
Customers of tomorrow (perhaps late today) will split the experience between known and/or mundane items (tee shirts, tools, diapers) purchased online and extras (wine, handbags, high quality shoes) bought in attractive stores with nice lighting and displays accompanied by in-person customer service.
Investing in big box retail may not be your best choice.