In Store vs. Online
Lately my front door has looked the way it does in the photo. While typically a stack of deliveries on my doorstep makes me giddy, today I’m simply frustrated.
Everything in those boxes was first shopped at a traditional brick and mortar retail store (I’ll leave names out of it – no need to make matters worse). The problem is, every time I drag myself to said stores, I walk away empty handed and disappointed. I’m an immediate satisfaction kind of gal. When I attempt and fail to pick up an item I’d hoped to get my hands on right away, all I think is – I should’ve just ordered this online? Both the problem and the solution.
While brick and mortar retail stores know that they are getting killed, they seem not to know what to do about it. Things like…have stuff available for customers to buy or employ reasonably qualified sales people who remotely understand the concept of customer service might be good places to start.
Sometimes, when I enter a store I get an eerie feeling like…am I alone in here? And sales staff, if I can find them, poke around in zombie-like states with no real desire to sell.
If you are looking for something specific, you might as well forget it. Recently, I decided to spruce up a couple of rooms in my house. I hit a few home stores to see, touch and measure my items of interest and…pointless, every time! Everything I went to see was either out of stock or no longer available. Sales staff avoided eye contact and offered lame attempts to order the items and have them shipped. Um, isn’t that online ordering – I could’ve done that from home. God, I hate wasting my time.
The sales staff were never rude, but each and every time they were clueless like it was their first day. Annoying, frustrating and indicative of positions that will soon be extinct if brick and mortar retail stores don’t get their acts together.
To add insult to injury, the influx of online customers frequently results in items that are persistently backordered. I just ordered a tiny little table online, that I could not find anywhere in a store, only to later be alerted that it was backordered until January 2018. Come on!!!! Truth be told, I find myself frequently resorting to Amazon because they have what I need, it is rarely backordered and it arrives relatively quickly. But, it’s just not the same.
At this rate, my little room makeover is going to take a year to pull together.
I know this topic has been discussed many times over with mixed reviews and potential outcomes. Here’s an article from Business Insider featuring Warren Buffet. In the linked article Buffett says, retail is “too tough an investment, especially in the age of Amazon.”
This makes me sad because, well, I like to shop. I hope brick and mortar stores figure this out. Meanwhile, I just got a notification that my latest Amazon order has shipped.