business messaging blog
Online vs. In-Store: The Battle for Consumers
Scott Navratil

The competition between online and in-store retailers to bring in business and keep consumers has never been greater now that mobile devices are so popular.  Many in-store companies are struggling to keep consumers because of the accessibility and convenience of online shopping.  Big online companies such as Amazon, Apple and Google own the online shopping market, and according to Mobile Marketer, they are looking to own the in-store shoppers as well.  Amazon is presumably the fiercest competition for in-store retailers.  Research shows that Amazon’s goal is to beat out in-store retailers when it comes to shopping experiences by having products readily available for purchase at the best prices.  They have also come up with new devices such as the Amazon Fire smartphone which makes the shopping experience even easier for consumers.  Apple’s goal is to create the technology people use to online shop or locate physical stores, so they do not pose as too big of a threat to retailers.  Google also has the good intentions of making shopping experiences great for consumers by partnering up with companies in order to share their technology and help consumers find what they need quickly and efficiently.

Companies are fighting back

All companies need to be aware of these big name retailers and others that look at stealing away business.  It has been proven time and time again that consumers are looking for the most convenient ways to shop.  In-store purchases are still the leading number of purchases in the United States, but online purchase numbers are quickly catching up.  Mobile technologies such as smartphones, tablets, and computers make it easy for consumers to make purchases without having to leave the comfort of their homes.  So what are in-store retailers supposed to do?  The only answer is for in-store retailers to become part of the mobile world as well.  Companies have seen great success and have been able to keep Amazon and other online stores at bay by mobile marketing.  Interactive mobile applications and SMS advertisements are constantly attracting and bringing in business.  If companies focus on these methods of advertising, and value the relationships they build with consumers, they will not have to worry about getting defeated by online retailers.  Companies also might consider partnering up with Google and other online companies who are looking to enhance in-store business.  Walgreens partnered up with Google in order to use Google’s Project Tango to help consumers locate Walgreens locations as well as use other helpful features to enhance their shopping experience. It is a mistake for companies to rule out mobile involvement because it is becoming a part of daily life for most consumers.  If companies want to be successful, they must become involved with mobile technology in one way or another.


Chantel Fullilove

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