In past months, we’ve done a bit of blogging on the fact that online shopping has become a worldwide phenomenon. Canadians have especially shown that they enjoy flocking to the internet to make their purchases. This has been proven over the past several holiday seasons when online shopping experiences such a major boost. Naturally, our blogs point out the necessity of credit card acceptance when selling your goods online.
Some merchants, however, are concerned about this growing trend. Is online shopping eventually going to lead to the destruction of brick and mortar stores? According to David Friend of TheRecord.com, store owners have nothing to worry about. At least, this is what he found out, earlier this month, when he reported about a retail conference speech given by Canadian Tire president, Michael Medline.
Friend reports that after many years of practically neglecting their online presence, Canadian Tire has recently taken to the internet in a big way. Customers are still unable to have items shipped to their homes by placing orders online, says Friend, but the company does allow their website visitors to shop online. Going to the store to pick your items up, however, is still a necessary part of the process.
Perhaps, this method of selling products online will become the compromise that still encourages customers to visit stores in the future. After all, people do still enjoy the process of physical shopping, don’t they? Sport Chek sure thinks so. Friend reports that locations in Toronto and Edmonton have adopted the use of in-store digital screens to help customers locate the items that they’re looking for.
According to Friend, the screens “serve as a model for what\’s to come.” Scattered along the walls, the digital screens in the Sport Chek locations have effectively replaced the traditional in-store signs giving customers the ability to do such things as personalize their own hockey jerseys. As well, “employees at the locations are equipped with tablets that can browse inventory and order merchandise,” reports Friend.
He also reveals the Medline feels that physical store locations will thrive as long as they are providing their local communities with what they most need. There won’t be a need to order items online if they are available right around the corner – this is essentially the thinking. “We have to be better in the community,” he was quoted as saying, “We have dealers…who can stock their stores in a way that works for the community.”
Such thinking is especially important during the holidays when people tend to do most of their online shopping. Considering that it’s the summertime, perhaps now is the best time to gear up in order to have your store prepared for what may be your greatest holiday season in approximately five months. Are there ways that your store can cater to its community so that the community doesn’t look elsewhere for their shopping needs?
Online shopping is only bound to grow. We all know that. But if your store can find ways to encourage customers to visit after they’ve already checked it out online, you’ll be doing your part to secure a successful business for the long haul. As you know, accepting credit and debit cards is all part of that process. Upgrade your POS terminal today and save on your rates by contacting Canadian POS Corporation at 1-877-748-2884.