I have been in retail for 5 years, 5 months and 14 days, that’s a total of 1992 days, 285 weeks 47,808 hours, 2,868,480 minutes right to this very second. Retail was my first “proper job”, Surf Dive n Ski Miranda, I nor surfed, dive or would you believe it skied, but I could make small talk to a brick wall if in need. I was 15, and the Christmas holidays were approaching, Mum was insisting I get a job as she was cutting off funding my $10 a day of fun during the holidays. There I was the try hard Christmas casual, whom ended up making it through the elimination round after the Christmas rush. Six Christmas’s later, three stores later and three different positions later and I am still making up what I know about surfing, diving and skiing, but the other things I seem to have a script down packed.
I think of myself as a form of therapist, the retail kind. From my Sunday – Thursday I assist the Susans and Steves (in retail terms, the customers we dread), the needy, the indecisive, the angry, the hungover, the demanding, the blamers, the sorry I’m on the phone but still serve me, the I thought the change rooms were the trash bin, the foot tappers at the counter, the I lost my receipt but want a refund – you get the point. But I should also mention there are the kind, the ones who can’t thank you enough, bring you chocolates, are on the regulars and partially know bits of your life and you know there’s.
Retail isn’t all clothing though, it falls under an entire category : Clothing, Supermarkets , Specialty stores, furniture, discount, super stores. We can find these stores in the same location or apart, they make up so many spaces in our communities. From the huge Westfields, to the local market places, the beachside malls retailers fill a huge part of our community infrastructure and consist of our basic needs and desired wants.
But what if you didn’t have to venture out to community to gather up these wants and needs? What if there were some kind of stream paired with a technological advanced device that allowed you to do this at a push off a button, from anywhere at anytime. This isn’t a what if scenario, this is reality, we are able to do this already with its formal term being – E-commerce : electronic commerce or internet commerce. It refers to the buying and selling of goods or services using the internet, and the transfer of money and data to execute these transactions.
I took it to twitter to see what my fellow peers preferred in terms of retail therapy :
Shop online they said, surprising no, scary yes.
The future generations are adapting to this form of shopping rapidly, accessibility is the main factor as most consumers use smart devices at some point everyday, and frequently browse online. A US 2017 study showed 42% of shoppers in the US search for and purchase goods and services while 14% actively searched online however purchased in-store. This showcased that mobile commerce was on the high rise in the United States. Those 42% said that it was because it was efficient in that the delivery systems were reliable and frequent with the ability to track shipments, get estimated arrival dated and process returns all effortlessly.
From my own experience online consumers are even more likely to shop online then in-store as the additional promotions, discounts and coupons are more apparent online that valid in store. ie. At Surf Dive n Ski consumers are offered 20% off there first purchase online… but this is not valid in store? Time and time again shoppers turn to then just purchase everything they were going to in-store, online.
It makes you question if those leading retailers are trying to encourage online to eventually discontinue their retail stores completely.
Advantages of Retail stores for community :
- The ability to buy items then and there
- Know the quality before purchase
- Social interactions
- A great way to spend time
- No shipping/ delivery drama
Disadvantages of retail when it comes to e-commerce on the rise :
- Lack of job security
- Dissatisfied customers about online issues (ie. the other day for example, a customer ordered a wetsuit and received a scarf)
- Cost to employ
- Websites are cheaper then rent
- Crowed shopping malls can be overwhelming
- Malls can be considered a huge energy uses, and thus generators of greenhouse gases, therefore environmental issues
So this leaves me with wondering in 10 to 20 years time could shopping malls look like this?
Or will they remain like this?
Nguyen, CN, 2018 Retail vs. E-Commerce: The Future of Shopping Prisync online article – Published October 19th 2018, Viewed March 22nd 2021https://prisync.com/blog/future-retail-vs-ecommerce/?utm_medium=cpc&utm_source=google&utm_campaign=dsa-blog-content&keyword=&gclid=Cj0KCQjwjPaCBhDkARIsAISZN7Ru9K7CUvEGnbCohH5Ndtd2ID02jnTzdY-af0ck6qBhfgbNBH-Dzd0aAnNbEALw_wcB