Buying Online Versus Buying in Person

Jeff Grissler | March 29, 2019 | 8:11 AM

Though e-commerce is growing faster than any other retail sector, the opportunity for brick-and-mortar retailers isn’t extinct, it’s just shifted.   How many times have you heard that e-tail is gaining popularity and that even your grandparents are consumed with buying their clothes and or gifts on line. Let’s face it. The Phenom is not going away. The opportunity for brick-and-mortar retailers hasn’t disappeared; it’s simply a different value proposition in the eyes of the customer.

Brick and Mortar business owners need to recognize the different lenses consumers see the world through when buying online versus buying in person. Let’s make this as simple as possible. There is no need to recreate the wheel and consumer buying habits. Amazon has already done that.

What we need to do is focus on what brick and mortar, person-to-person buying has done since inception. Let’s not attack this in an impetuous manner. Slow and steady, baby steps is a better approach to better understand the importance and the difference.

Let’s take a trip down memory lane. Think back to the first time you walked into your neighborhood store. Was it the local candy shop, barber shop, salon, butcher or shoe store, maybe you were running an errand for mom and dad and needed groceries? That experience no matter how long ago hasn’t changed. Those brick and mortar stores are still the heartbeat of America. Main Street may have shifted, some for better or worse but local community shopping overshadows the convenience of online shopping in ways you may not realize or simply overlooked.

Shopping is more than consumerism. It may involve the opportunity to spend the afternoon with friends, to temporarily alter the way one perceives himself/herself by changing physical appearance, or surrounding oneself with company he/she strives to keep. Despite the popularity of buying online, these highly emotional aspects of shopping maintain the appeal of buying in person.

We also can’t forget convenience. How many times on the way to work or on your way home do you stop and pick up your dry cleaning or stop at a convenience store because you’ve run out of toothpaste, contact lens wash or toilet paper. OMG, you need it now, and yes you can order a larger quantity online but when it comes to personal stuff and when Mother Nature calls sometimes you just can’t wait.

What about when you get the terrible migraine headache. You need Tylenol now, not tomorrow. Yes, you can buy the items online but you need these items pronto! Not tomorrow.

Let’s also take a look at the perfect pair of Jeans you wanted and or pair of shoes you spotted in the neighborhood boutique.  You are comfortable buying local when you know you can walk out of the store with merchandise that fits. No need to worry about returning something that may or may not be your size.

The dinner invitation you got last minute is so much better when you buy the outfit the same day and look and feel like a million dollars due to your local same-day purchase. More importantly the outfit you purchased was a one of a kind hand made one off, giving you a look that no one else has and or picked up online. Not to mention the blowout and hair products you purchased at your neighborhood salon just around the corner from your home or work place. 

Buying locally gives the consumers instant gratification--this is the key benefit to buying in person; the experience of human connection was the reason they buy in store. Personally I find there is no better feeling when a store owner and or employee greets me by name or pulls an item of the shelf that I purchase frequently. My local coffee barista hands me my coffee as soon as I walk in the store without asking. These little things make a difference and until Amazon comes up with a robot to work the counter in a store these little pleasures of life and community store buying will not go away.

By recognizing the deeper reasons consumers buy in each channel, merchants can tailor their brand position, in-store aesthetics and marketing messaging accordingly.

Buying online versus buying in person is different—but one isn’t necessarily better, for consumers or merchants. By recognizing the unique value each channel inherently delivers, small-business owners can be strategic in what they sell, where, to whom and for what price.

More from Salon Management

Salon Management Sponsored by STX

5 Myths About Online Booking…Busted!

July 11, 2019

If you’ve considered adding online booking to your website, now’s the time to take the plunge. So what’s holding you back from incorporating this must-have feature? If it’s one of these common myths, read on for the truth behind them.

How do you boost your color satisfaction? By copying your client’s color and sending it home with her!
Hair Color Sponsored by evo

Here’s How To Make Your Color Clients Love You

June 21, 2019

When your client leaves your chair, she’s in the sun, in the pool, in the shower and soon, her hair color is in trouble. As her beautiful hue starts to fade away, she starts to question the time and money she invested in her hair. But don’t fret because there’s a solution that not only preserves your client’s color, it also elevates your service and your income.  

Technology Sponsored by SoundClouds

Does Your Salon Technology Provide A Human Touch?

June 20, 2019

Functionality, integration, experience—no question these are all critical in a salon technology product. But the truth is, for many salon owners who didn’t grow up in a world of coding and don’t speak tech language, it’s the human connection that’s most important.

Will this client post a five-star review for her balayage service? The answer matters for many reasons!
Salon Management Sponsored by Phorest Salon Software

Are You Raking In 5-Star Reviews? If Not, Here’s How.

June 18, 2019

You drive by that new restaurant in town and wonder if you should give it a try. Your first step? Grabbing your phone and checking the place’s online reviews. If they’re good, you go ahead and make a reservation. If not, you probably pass. And guess what? This is exactly how prospective clients are assessing your salon.

Hair by Mary Ott,
Hair Color Trends Sponsored by Salon Centric

All The Ways To Price Your Specialty Hair Color

May 30, 2019

By the hour, by the level, by the bowl. Those are just some of the ways stylists are setting their rates for specialty hair color. Specialty color is hard work so don’t sell yourself short. Specialty color is also creative, and here are some creative ways stylists are charging for their artistry!

Hair by Jack Martin, @jackmartincolorist
Hair Color Sponsored by Salon Centric

Gone Grey Strategies That Will Keep You In Business

May 30, 2019

Gone grey doesn’t have to mean gone for good. There are still plenty of ways to contribute to your grey clients’ ongoing upkeep. Here are strategies that will keep your grey clients looking chic…and keep your service and retail income looking healthy.

Tech Trends Sponsored by Vish

Are You Losing Money On Your Toning, Retouch Or Highlight Services?

May 16, 2019

The more you know, the more you save and the more money you make. That’s true of everything in your business. When you’re informed, you can make informed decisions. Knowing your numbers when it comes to hair color usage is particularly helpful because it’s so easy to over-use product and undercharge for services. Here’s how three salons, with the help of Vish software, were able to analyze the data available at their fingertips to determine which services were losing money and which were producing healthy profits.

Load More