The last decade has seen an upsurge in the number of eCommerce businesses in the UK and further afield. Large and small businesses alike have ventured into the online shopping world hoping to increase sales and profits. However, to think that eCommerce is killing the high street is lazy thinking. We look at reasons why storefronts are still the future of retail.
Retailers are still investing in new stores
Across the country, large retailers such as Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Tesco and ASDA are still investing in new stores. It’s not limited to just these main retailers either, their smaller competitors, the likes of Lidl, Home Bargains and Aldi have experienced phenomenal growth in the last five years and taking a share of the market.
Independents stores a popping up the high street as well. Bold Street in Liverpool has experienced a regeneration in recent times and is now a hub for independent retailers such as Liv Organic. This is the same for many other cities in the UK too.
Stores are more profitable
There are a lot of hidden costs in eCommerce that can eat away at margins. The cost of packaging, delivery, systems, staffing and returns are a major headache for online retailers. Conversion rates are said to be better in physical stores too, and competition online is another factor that is reducing profitability.
Amazon just bought Whole Foods
It’s likely that one of the major reasons Amazon bought the American retailer was to improve its online food distribution business. It signed a deal with Morrisons last year but with this new acquisition, it is expected that the online offering of food will improve.
However, it can’t be denied that the physical stores will go some way to improving Amazon’s profitability. Furthermore, Amazon has recently opened its own food shop in San Francisco. It’s a modern store that tracks visitor purchases when they pick up an item and walk out the store – no-till systems.
If the largest eCommerce company, Amazon is investing in physical stores to increase its sales, it must be an avenue worth pursuing.