Summary: The battle is tough between the online stores and the local retail stores including and who is better is always judged on certain parameters. Though it is hard to define a clear winner, local women’s clothing stores, home decor stores are all waging a tough competition against their online competitors.
There is this rat race everywhere; race to prove oneself and the battle between local stores and the emerging online counterparts is a glaring one. For humans, it has always been the survival of the fittest and no business thrives without competition. Hence, the question whether local stores are going to stay or the online ones will walk away with the cheese is a very thoughtful one. There is the clear demarcation of thoughts when it comes to seeking a clear answer for a clear winner is yet to surface. There are certain parameters on which the judgment is based and depending on these parameters, one can seek a solution. The parameters one time puts local retail stores in the lead and sometimes their online competitors in the forefront.
So, what are the many parameters that are used to judge why consumers are still sticking to the local retail stores or why a certain percentage of them have found their loyalty in shopping from online stores? They are the following.
The Costs are Involved- When it comes to cost, it is seen that opening an online home decor store is much cheaper. Setting up a store in the locality is a costly affair. An online store does not require any decorations, neither the owner has to pay any utility bills. So, on the parameter of cost, online stores are a plus point. What do you do when you have complaints from customers? Can an online store be sufficient to handle things? When business is dependent on how well the store handles the customer, it is imperative that a physical address be there where customers can give their suggestions and complaints. If not, you are losing loyal customers. Customers want interaction and a place to share what they feel.
Inventory- With the emergence of local shopping search engines like Xwalker.com, local retail stores have a platform to showcase their products and services. Merchants can now register their services and products and make them searchable online. What sites like Xwalker.com do not do is give the chance to purchase directly. They redirect the shoppers and make them purchase the product offline. High-value items like women’s designer clothing, home decor, and furniture are best to be bought directly from the merchant from their brick and mortar store.
Competitive Edge- Boutiques face tough competition online with the large department stores. New and local retail stores have an advantage. Merchants selling home decor collections have the flexibility to survey the market and make efficient decisions. With the ease of local shopping search engines like Xwalker.com, it is not a problem for them to reach out to the mass that is an added advantage on their part.
Effective Marketing- Reaching out to the mass or global customer base is undoubtedly easy for a large store. Unlike the small boutiques, it is cost effective for large stores to have a large advertising campaign. Effective marketing is too expensive for the small local stores. But with local shopping search engines like Xwalker.com; smaller local merchants have a platform to reach out to the masses. Customers also gain by learning about best deals offered nearby.
Now small stores can now be on the same playing field as the larger merchants.
Author Bio: Diyana Lobo is a freelance writer with years of experience in working with E-commerce portals. Her recent blog is a good study as to how local retail stores are standing tallagainst the online stores.
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