Wal-mart.com is an extremely popular website. It is in the top 50 most trafficked websites.
Obviously, Wal-Mart has tens of thousands of locations across the world, and all of these physical locations require a lot of oversight and overhead.
So, there is this fun balance happening with successful retailers that have both physical and online presence.
Do they want e-commerce to succeed? Do they want people to buy online as opposed to coming to their store?
The simple answer is yes. As long as a consumer is supporting their company, the source is not a major issue. But, is that the full truth? Is it viable for physical retailers to want online retailing to explode? Currently, only about 7% of all sales occur online.
Retail buying is still a major slice of the pie- over 90% of all buying. Can the retail space and world support itself if these numbers were closer to a 50-50 split?
Defining Convenience When It Comes To E-commerce Websites
Let’s take a look at kitchen supplies, particularly pots and pans. The aisle of a major retailer will have one or two of a few different kitchen supply products. There will be one or two deep skillets, a small skillet, a big pan, and a set of small pans that come as a box set. There is only so much space available.
Furthermore, there will only be about two to three company products available.
If a customer wants something more specific, and from a unique company, they can look online. A small e-commerce website could offer rich alternatives. The site could offer products made by hand, non-BPA, or some other specific attribute.
Ten different websites can offer a different breadth of products that expand far beyond what a typical retail giant could offer. They dig deep into each area. The products are richer because of it.
Some shoppers want the convenience of going to a store, looking and seeing the options, and obtaining them immediately. They will pay for that convenience by dismissing alternative options. Other shoppers are willing to go through extra hoops to get exactly what they want.
Confidence in Both For Your E-commerce Website
In reality, this displays something very important about retail stores and e-commerce. There is room for both. The convenience of going to a store and getting an item immediately is hard to ignore.
As good as online shopping gets, it can’t necessarily appeal to pure convenient-approach shoppers. But, a retail store is confined by space- something luxury e-commerce sellers can afford with their large warehouses. There is room for both.
Online shopping will grow due to variety and its own sense of convenience (ordering from the comfort of home). But, retail shopping will stay because it is ubiquitous with buying culture. Large retailers are embracing it because they should be confident that their bricks-and-mortar approach has legs.
A small ecommerce website is not necessarily competing with a retail giant. They offer a different convenience. They also offer a further breadth of products. They don’t need millions of shoppers daily to stay alive.