Recently, all we keep hearing about are the bankruptcies of reputable, well-established retail businesses and the closing of brick and mortar stores. The most recent examples include Mexx Canada, Boutique Jacob, SmartSet and many others. Most of these big-name companies seemed to have struggled to keep up with the changing retail environment causing them to fall way behind.
The latest retailer to be in the news is Parasuco Jeans. This company has filed for bankruptcy and has decided to close all their retail stores in Canada and focus more on strengthening their online presence. Therefore, consumers will still be able to buy their merchandise however only through their eCommerce Store.
It’s important for businesses to realize that there is indeed a changing retail environment. Even the most successful retailers are feeling it and are beginning to take the time to focus on strengthening their online presence. It’s not enough anymore for a business to simply have a website (which many still do not have!). eCommerce Stores are changing the way consumers shop and many are choosing to buy online rather than go to retail stores in person. It saves consumers time, effort and many times, money (depending on online promotions).
The reasons why most companies, that have embraced eStores early on, love having a strong online presence and shopping platform are because an eCommerce site can:
– Eliminate geographic boundaries;
Retailers can reach new markets and gain many more consumers than if they simply had a brick and mortar store.
– Stay open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week;
Many brick and mortar stores are open from 10am until either 5pm or 9pm, depending on the day of the week. eStores are available to consumers at all times, making it easier for those who cannot shop during those regular store hours.
– Increase brand visibility;
A main website with an eCommerce Store and an active online presence will allow businesses to gain new customers and visitors with search engine visibility. Most people spend a lot of their time online, which is why it’s crucial for businesses to have a spot online where they can be seen by consumers all over the world.
– Lower operating, real estate and advertising costs;
Having a brick and mortar store definitely has high costs associated to it that an eCommerce store doesn’t have, such as rent, utility bills, ads, many employees (sales reps, managers, key holders), etc.
The reality today is that if a retailer does not have an online presence or if they simply cannot keep up with the changing retail environment, no matter how popular they are or once were, they will not survive. Start planning ahead to strengthen your online presence with an eCommerce Store.