Brick And Mortar Collapsing Under E-Commerce Pressure
While sitting in Ellen’s office this morning reviewing various projects, she received an email stating that Macy’s is closing 100 department stores nationwide—a staggering 15% of their brick and mortar locations. At first, I was shocked, as Ellen could probably tell, and I had numerous questions.
Macy’s isn’t the only industry giant that is suffering and pulling the plug when it comes to physical store locations. According to an article posted on CNN Money, Walmart has announced plans to close over 250 stores this year, and Kohl’s, J. C. Penney, and Target have all shut the doors to hundreds of locations nationwide. Consumers are still purchasing and shopping, so why are so many retailers shutting down numerous locations? One of the biggest culprits: Amazon.
It’s transparent that Amazon provides the utmost convenience. Who doesn’t like to shop while sitting on the couch? With the incentives and additional benefits that Amazon Prime offers, consumers are enticed to sign up. Paying a yearly subscription fee to maintain memberships motivates consumers to shop on Amazon for products. Consumers want to make sure they are receiving the best value and taking advantage of it for the investment they are making.
Consumers can not only shop for anything under the sun on Amazon, they can watch movies, play games, and be completely engulfed by all things media.
Amazon also offers an opportunity for individuals to contribute to almost any non-profit or charitable organization they wish. Through Amazon Smile, consumers can choose a non-profit that will receive a portion of proceeds from their purchase on Amazon. It could not be easier to support a non-profit of your choice.
It is no secret that consumers are becoming more digitally savvy; the next generation will be even more so when it comes to technology than the Millennials are right now. Big players in e-commerce, like Amazon, have profited from this and are riding the colossal wave of success—and it is only going to grow.
Of course, Amazon is not the only factor that is shutting down numerous brick and mortar locations in the retail industry. E-commerce as a whole is completely changing the game of retail by calling the shots and controlling the buying power of consumers.
Who knows if there will ever be a day that the majority of consumers will buy engagement rings and fine jewelry online through Amazon or any other third party e-commerce source, but this phenomenon clearly pronounces the importance of at least having a strong online presence. Plain and simple: consumers are browsing and shopping online, not only out of necessity but as a pastime. An attractive and seamless web experience on your site can take consumers from browsing online to walking in the door to see the must-have pieces in person. Coupling a strong e-commerce experience with outstanding service in the store can provide a game plan to drive sales and remain relevant with technology trends.