A recent article from Tech Crunch explores the idea of autonomous vehicles becoming quasi-mini-malls that bring stores and products the the consumer. According to the article:
… if [retailers don’t make] a shift towards mobile stores, the demand on not just commercial real estate businesses but a wider reach of companies that sell and lease out physical space could drop significantly. Instead of choosing to purchase or lease shop fronts, startup businesses and already established companies could be attracted to the less expensive, more risk averse option of choosing a store on wheels.
Combine that with recent research that millennials and practically everyone else are choosing to spend their money on “experiences” rather than “things,” and traditional retailers are probably feeling very confused if not in a state of panic.
Mammoth has a client with more than 35 physical stores around the country. They constantly deal with issues that prevent people from coming into their stores. In the northeast, for example, heavy winter storms can close one of their stores for days, then several more days can go by before people coming out to shop again. And then you have the overhead costs of rent, utilities, etc.
So, why not move everything online?
Seems like a viable answer, but it’s still worth asking the question of what value physical stores bring. People still like to go shopping. They like to meet friends for coffee, pop in at a few stores, try on clothes and hold things in their hands before purchasing them. It’s similar to asking why someone who has a treadmill in their house still goes to the gym or runs on the trail: We’re not yet done transacting with people and products in spite of all our online conveniences.
Much of what we offer clients is a digital solution to their branding and marketing. However, we occasionally advise our customers to not forget offline marketing solutions as well. Mailers, printed materials, branded hats, mugs, t-shirts and other 3-dimensional marketing materials are still excellent ways to spread your message and create customer loyalty.