At a recent industry conference one of the presenters expressed his views on the new way we shop. According to him we no longer walk into a store to speak with a salesperson, rather we investigate, research, and finally buy everything from refrigerators to televisions to cars…online. His pronouncement was rewarded with general agreement from the audience.
Now, I’m no Luddite, at least I hope not, but I was reminded of this most certain declaration over the recent holiday weekend. There were ads for cars, appliances, flat screen TVs and any number of other items. And all of them were from ‘brick and mortar’ retailers. Sure, they may just be trying to direct you to their web sites to buy online but, if that is the case, why were there articles about car dealerships spending hundreds of thousands of dollars, in some cases millions, to upgrade their facilities, build new ones and in every case make the customer experience more convivial?