Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share
5 August 2019
How much will online pickup replace traditional brick and mortar retail?
How far will the demise of traditional brick and mortar retail stores go? Maybe even further than we thought. Walmart, always in the lead when it comes to retail, is tracking to have more than 3,000 online pickup stores by the end of this year.
That comes off the heels of Nordstrom announcing it will have 100 similar locations in the United States.
Pickup is becoming the rising wave of a retail future. One in which stores are not there to shop. But only for consumers to pick up merchandise.
Recent studies show that 15% of US shoppers have tried online pickup with sales hitting $35 billion annually by next year.
Does this mean the final demise of brick and mortar is nearing closer? And, more importantly, who will survive? As I’ve said before, the latter in part depends on the individual brands. If you create a brand that’s emotional, it can be preferred. Regardless on how you deliver on your promise.
Who wins the online pickup war?
But online pickup certainly favors the largest retailers. They are the ones who hold deep enough pockets and a large enough footprint to make online pickup a viable part of its business. But even regional chains need to consider this.
“Studies also demonstrate that those who use online pickup the most are two demographics: The young, and the wealthy. If you’re a retailer, what demographic are you more interested in than those two?”
Because, yes, online pickup isn’t going away. And brick and mortar stores are. In fact, a recent study shows those empty malls you’re seeing everywhere are now being used by doctors and other medical offices. Not by retailers.
There are a few other advantages for retailers in taking a ride on this ever-growing trend. Online pickup is less expensive for the retailer than shipping. It also fosters some brand loyalty because consumers then come to depend on that brand.
Will we see any online pickup-only chains? You bet. Amazon already sports pickup locations. Understanding that it’s not a traditional retail outlet, it still makes the greatest impact on retail change. So you know others are coming soon.
In fact, consider this. Studies also demonstrate that those who use online pickup the most are two demographics: The young, and the wealthy.
If you’re a retailer, what demographic are you more interested in than those two?
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