Killing the brick and mortar

I was in a local knitting store today paroosing the books with patterns looking for a specific pattern for a sweater I'd like to make. A couple came in and was asking questions about different yarns then asked for the yarn to be rolled and then promptly told the owner that she couldn't possibly purchase another item because she could buy it on Amazon for less. REALLY?!?!?! I was in shock and being a previous owner of a business, I know the anger and pain that is felt when a comment like this is made.

I have no idea if the customer understands the gravity of her comment. She walked in to the store (which you cannot do at Amazon), asked questions live (which you cannot do at Amazon), had the owner roll the yarns (which you cannot do at Amazon), felt the yarns and looked at the real, live yarns - NONE OF WHICH YOU CAN DO AT AMAZON!

I was literally screaming inside knowing this is the problem with our society. They have no idea the impact the purchases from Amazon have on our stores.

Have a problem? Go in to the store
Have a return? Go in the store
Have a question, can't find the answer? Go in the store
Want to enjoy a hot cup of coffee? Go in the store
Looking to get out and be around people? Go in the store
Want suggestions? Go to the store


Yet people are constantly KILLING all brick and mortar stores. Do they have low prices? YES but this is BECAUSE they cannot offer any of these things. There is no overhead they have to pay, like the payroll of the people who smile, offer services, do returns, answer questions and take problems FACE TO FACE.

I implore you to consider when you are WALKING IN A STORE how much money are you spending, how much time are you using, making a return and NOT a purchase, what type of resources are you consuming COMPARED TO WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU CLICK IN AMAZON.


The Mistress of the Dark said...

If there's something I must have, I buy it in the store. There are some things I won't buy anywhere other than Amazon, because of features Amazon of the autorip for cloud, but I just can't fathom not buying something because you can order it for less...I like instant gratification..

BV Researcher said...

I can totally see where you're coming from and I agree in a sense...but just to play devils advocate here...

While you can't *physically* go to a store with a problem, return or question... I know many people, including myself, swear by Amazon's customer service. I never have a problem returning anything quickly and efficiently nor have I ever had any trouble when I placed a phone call to get help with someone. For me, I the nearest store is about 45 minutes away and it's much more of a hassle to actually go into a store to have to return or ask a question when Amazon allows me to do it from the comfort of my home.

I also think many people who purchase things off amazon, know going in that they don't have the same kind of experience with an online vendor as they would with a physical vendor so the whole personal aspect of physical stores doesn't really factor much into the decision to purchase online for many people. They've already made up their minds that they'd rather purchase something online versus taking the time and effort to actually go to the physical store.

As for the cup of coffee and meeting people...there are already millions of alternatives to whatever brick and mortar stores are being taken over by online vendors like coffee houses etc.

Basically, the world is rapidly changing and while it is incredibly sad to see brick and mortar stores shutting down and losing business as well as employees, there is nothing they can really do to compete with the ease, convenience and price of online vendors. It's a cold hard fact and we don't have to like it (none of us really do) but that's the way the world is turning.