For several years pundits have been predicting the demise of bricks and mortar retailers, especially in the technology and electronics space.
Last weekend we attended a dinner. The average age of the dinner guests was 56 and seven out of eight guests remarked they did some or all of their Christmas shopping online this year.
That’s an online shopping rate of 88% for our dinner group. What’s most surprising is none of the guests was under the age of 50.
According to recent surveys 3 out of 4 Canadians will shop for Christmas gifts online this year. Compare that to just three years ago when the same report 1 in 3 Canadians will shop online and you see a 42% growth in online shopping over the past three years, assuming the 75% ratio is right. Personally I think the number might even be higher.
Online shopping was once reserved for Tech Savvy buyers and millennials but Baby Boomers and Gen Xer’s have now embraced e-commerce as their preferred method of shopping and the number of consumers shopping online continues to grow at an increasing rate.
Wether it’s ordering Pizza, buying tech gadgets or purchasing new furniture online shoppers love the convenience, product selection and home delivery offered when buying online. Sites like Amazon have become the Gold Standard for online shoppers and even retailers who have their own private sites are now selling on Amazon in addition to their own sites because of Amazon’s enormous drawing power. Axe Music and Memory Express are just two examples of retailers who have their own e-commerce websites but are now selling on Amazon too.
Brick and Mortar stores will continue to exist although the number and size of physical stores will continue to decline as e-commerce continues to grow. There will always be a need for Bricks and Mortar stores. Many shoppers, for example, don’t want to purchase clothing online, but prefer to go to a store and try on clothes to to see how they look and feel. The most successful physical retailers will be those who off value added services with their products.
Whether you purchase goods online or from a bricks and mortar retailer most consumers are benefiting from the changing retail landscape by having more choice, convenience and lower prices.