Consider two indisputable facts:
1. People still buy most goods from stores. Whether it’s toothpaste or Teflon pans, sausage links or kitchen sinks, food or Fords, shoppers shop and buy in retail environments. They want to interact with products and they want what they want now. Though in some categories (e.g., music, electronics) the percentage is quite high, still only about 8% of all dollars are spent online. Bricks swamp clicks.
2. Stores are the most economical delivery method. Moving most products by the truckload to central locations where shoppers come to pick out, pay for and carry home the goods costs less than shipping to individual homes. If the USPS went to a similar strategy, i.e., eliminate home delivery and require pick up at the post office, how much less would it cost them to handle the mail?
Online and direct-to-home delivery will continue to grow but, as transportation costs climb, low-cost, bulky and heavy products may never leave the store environment – except in your trunk or truck bed. “FedEx me some kitty litter!” said no one ever. UPS won’t become your new milkman. And people will still appreciate the chance to see, smell, touch and buy what they want on the spot.
In-store is the last three feet of the marketing plan; the shopper is the last three miles of the distribution plan.
Posted on 3/28/2013 at 8:00:00 PM