The growth in online retailing presents a very real threat to traditional brick-and-mortar stores. Traditional stores have some clear advantages including a physical presence that allows customers to touch/hold/see/try on something before they buy or to be able to get what they buy now. Multichannel retailers offer multiple ways for consumer to shop — for example a physical store and an online store. Unfortunately, most retailers that offer multichannel options do a poor job integrating those experiences. Mitch Joel’s post, “Endless Aisles” (Six Pixels of Separation – The Blog, February 9, 2012) and an article in USA Today “Touch-screens create online shopping experiences at stores,” (February 7, 2012) offer a starting point. The image at the right shows a Kohl’s in-store kiosk which connects to Kohls.com.
What else could brick-and-mortar stores do to better compete against online-only competition?