Everyone has left home with the goal of finding a certain product to return empty handed because the local stores did not have what they wanted. That is what makes shopping online so revolutionary. Finding exactly what you are looking for without leaving home.
The traditional Brick and Mortar edge. For store owners who depend on foot traffic to make sales the growth of online retailers is a serious threat. The local store now has to focus on its strength and hope that remains enough to win the consumer. Privacy and Security. Preying on the fear that your private information will be out there for anyone to grab and abuse is a favorite of the traditional store. However as more americans get used to online banking, booking travel arrangements, buying movie tickets and using secure websites this perceived advantage is loosing its punch.
These days you are more likely to loose your privacy to a person you actually hand your credit card to than online. Interaction. The internet is said to be an interactive medium. The local store will seem to again have the advantage here since the have sales people right in front of you to answer your questions. The problem is that anyone who has ever gone to the internet before they went shopping tends to know more about what they are looking for than the sales people.
A well thought out website anticipates your questions and answers them with knowledge and experience. Rarely when you go to the store do you get to talk to anyone who actually knows anything about what you are looking for. The owner simply can not be available to every customer that walks through the front door of the store. But online, the owner can be involved.
Experience has taught them the questions you are going to ask about every product and they know the answer. You can be half way around the world, shopping while the store owner sleeps and he can still be answering your question because he has anticipated it. Selection. In the past, a traditional store could boast selection as a key advantage over the online store. That is far from true now. By going to web sites that specialize in the product you are looking for you can usually find what you seek.
Shipping. The local store might not appear to charge any shipping. However that depends on your point of view.
You still pay for shipping when you buy from the local store, it just comes in the form of a higher price. If the item is not in stock you pay for your gas to go to and from the store to find that out. Then when the item is at the store you pay for your gas back and forth again. In most cases I find it costs me less to buy something on line and pay the shipping than it does to drive all over and come home empty handed.
After driving to and from work the last thing most people want to do is get back in the car and drive more. The internet can be a cost effective way to save money as a consumer. By eliminating the store the manufacturer can give the consumer better quality for the same price that the local store has to offer.
The Author is a business owner with twenty years experience. A former Police Sgt, Pilot, Heavy Equipment Operator, Trained Mechanic, and accomplished motorcycle rider he enjoys riding the back roads of Washington on his Harley Davidson, Police Edition. Please visit his website SpaCap.com Spa Covers.