According to Forrester Research, its recent report has brought up the fact that online retail sales in the United States will seemingly reach $262 billion in 2013. While this overwhelming number is a great news for the online stores, but many industry insiders are of the opinion that this prediction has brought a gloomy cloud over the heads of those who build and invest in bricks-and-mortar retail stores.
Michael Ellis, a founding partner of 5+design – an award-winning creative design studio in Hollywood, has ruled out this idea and is of the belief that there is a silver lining. People often talk about how online stores are making the business hard for the physical retail stores. But according to him, this huge projection on online shopping can only mean that there will be exciting things coming from the investors and developers of the physical retail stores in near future. There is no way they will let online stores take the game away so easily. They will be forced to up their own game by making attractive and inviting changes in the character and design of the physical stores.
Ellis does not consider online stores and physical stores to be two different identities. He believes that online stores are just an extension of physical stores, and online shopping enhances the experience of being in a store. The Internet, having a greater reachability, is just the medium which allows stores to create their identities a lot more easily.
Ellis then cites an example taking Apple Inc. into account. Apple Inc. is a humongous brand which relies heavily on the symbiotic relationship between its physical and online stores. A massive amount of energy and time is invested in the creation of a certain retail environment and then, it goes arm-in-arm with a strong presence on the Internet.
There is no way physical stores are going away. Rather it can be said that with the meteoric rise of online shopping in recent years and also years to come, physical retail stores will not stay quiet and let online stores take away the spotlight.