Brick and Mortar vs Virtual
When the Internet started to become popular – way back in the early 90s – there was a prediction that by the 2000s, the brick and mortar store, as we knew it, would be as obsolete as vinyl records.
Fast-forward twenty years later and vinyl records are as popular as ever. And so are brick and mortar stores, with a sigh of relief from commercial developers and “New Starbucks Coming Soon” sign-makers.
But more and more, the sales are found online. With millions carrying around computers more powerful than the supercomputers of yesterday (cleverly disguised as phones), businesses are beginning to see them for what they really are – virtual wallets. Those carrying smart-phones have even received their own (cringe-worthy) name: “moppers” or mobile shoppers.
Take Asos, the #2 online retail store in Britain. Asos has no physical address. Its name even means “as seen on screen” and the pounds are pouring in. Thanks to its Internet-only presence, the young company has managed to make profits of $44.5 million last year.
With so many customers accessing stores online, the question may come down to whether you should market with in-store displays or through mobile devices.
The answer, of course, is you should do both, but with more and more profits coming from online purchases (mobile commerce is expected to double in some countries by 2013), but you might want to start tilting your budget towards the online consumers.
After all, most smartphone user have made mobile purchases, and the tiny “digital wallets” are becoming more and more ubiquitous.
The question is, as a business, are you ready to soak up the sales with the moppers?