More than ever retailers are faced with making decisions regarding the avenues in which they choose sell their product. The big debate remains: Will offering an online store affect brick-and-mortar sales positively or negatively?
According to an article in Franchise Times written by Beth Mattson-Teig, franchisees are vocalizing their fear of e-commerce sales cannibalizing and ultimately replacing brick-and-mortar sales. They have turned to the franchisor to create a solution that benefits all franchisees, and not take away dollars from in-store sales.
Other retailers do not see it as a challenge, but more of an inspiration to find a way to drive in-store sales. Many corporate retail brands are taking advantage of e-commerce sales and view it a positive addition to their overall profits.
What do we think? Get creative!
Technology is not going away. Some retailers are addressing franchisees’ concerns by contributing a portion of online profits to franchisees’ marketing funds. Others encourage consumers to order a product online and choose to pick it up or to be delivered from the local store. Some companies, such as Edible Arrangements, are using their site to drive traffic to their stores by offering promotional discounts for in-store pick up instead of delivery.
As a company who thrives off of hard facts and data, we see a direct correlation between in-store and online sales. Companies should not view e-commerce as a competitor, but as a way to provide the customer with a positive shopping experience. A storefront is a billboard for your brand and gives customers the option to come in and browse in their free time.
What is your omni-channel approach to running your business?