Current E-commerce and Brick-and-Mortar Trends

In recent years, e-commerce has become a main presence in the retail industry due to its convenience. However, after the pandemic people are more likely to shop in person now to get out of their house and be able to see and feel the product.

Prior to the pandemic, we saw e-commerce growing rapidly and the pandemic only accelerated that growth. This led to retail stores having reduced hours, less staff, and closing of stores. With consumer behavior changing in this way, it has left retailers in a unique position. 

A key recent trend is the use of omnichannel strategy for retailers. This multichannel approach has mostly been benefiting the e-commerce side of the business. Some customer trends include customers trying on sizes and styles of goods in stores then purchasing them online as well as purchasing several sizes online then returning them in their nearest store. Although this is mostly negative for the brick-and-mortar retailers and the in-person experience, it can provide the customer with interaction with the staff and potentially introduce them to new products. There are situations where companies have used this approach to their benefit such as providing the sizes and quantities available in the nearest store and the location within the store. The delivery time and fees are the main downside to the e-commerce experience and providing the customer with an opportunity to eliminate those is important. 

While the main trend of brands has been to introduce products in store then move to online, Digitally Native Brands (DNBs) have shifted this trend. DNBs are companies that generate most or all of their sales from e-commerce. DNBs have started with a strictly online presence and then used their success online to grow their business through in-person sales. In the last few years, countless of DNBs have used the omnichannel approach in this way to help their brand immensely. The omnichannel strategy will be a crucial factor in the future of retail.

Another key trend is the use of marketing to enhance the in-person shopping experience. Companies must create an atmosphere in their stores that can not be replicated by an online experience. Examples of this are offering free samples as well as conducting contests or giveaways within their physical store. This has been made easier to these stores due to the desire for interaction that was restricted because of the pandemic. These stores must focus their marketing efforts locally to enhance their stores. With the variety options available to advertise through social media, the companies must focus on local audiences that they will be able to get to go into stores.

Companies have been using certain events like having a local celebrity in their stores to get the customers into the store to build a connection with them. These types of promotions and events in stores have been common in the last several years and they will continue to be prevalent as they are an effective way to get their customers into their stores. It creates an impression with their customers and can persuade them to spend more time shopping in person rather than online. 

Black Friday has always been a huge time to shop for the best deals in your local store, but it tends to be hectic. Companies have combatted this by starting their Black Friday sales early from a week to a month before the day. With the rising inflation levels, holiday spending is expected to drop but retailers are still optimistic about the upcoming season. This results in less of an emphasis on the big items and more of a value on the essential items. The holiday season is also when customer service is put to the test and most Americans prefer collaborating with live agent rather than communicating with one online. With all the current economic factors, the focus will be centered around the experience.

About Schneider Downs Audit and Assurance Services 

Schneider Downs’ engagement teams are hand-selected by our shareholders based on skill sets and experience and are available around the clock for consultation. Each attestation engagement is subject to our comprehensive quality control and risk management system, providing an independent review of audit opinions, related financial statements and significant underlying working papers, to ensure that the highest levels of professional standards are met. 

To learn more, visit our dedicated Audit and Assurance and Retail and Business-to-Consumer Services pages or email us at [email protected].

You’ve heard our thoughts… We’d like to hear yours

The Schneider Downs Our Thoughts On blog exists to create a dialogue on issues that are important to organizations and individuals. While we enjoy sharing our ideas and insights, we’re especially interested in what you may have to say. If you have a question or a comment about this article – or any article from the Our Thoughts On blog – we hope you’ll share it with us. After all, a dialogue is an exchange of ideas, and we’d like to hear from you. Email us at [email protected].

Material discussed is meant for informational purposes only, and it is not to be construed as investment, tax, or legal advice. Please note that individual situations can vary. Therefore, this information should be relied upon when coordinated with individual professional advice.

© 2024 Schneider Downs. All rights-reserved. All content on this site is property of Schneider Downs unless otherwise noted and should not be used without written permission.

our thoughts on
Fortifying Retail Security: Essential Cybersecurity Tools and Software
Ensuring Network Security in the Retail Industry: A Crucial Imperative
Cap Table Basics for Startup Companies
Potential Accounting Changes for Environmental Credits
Tis the Season: Unwrapping the Top Holiday Scams of 2023
ESG in Retail – A Movement Towards Sustainability
Register to receive our weekly newsletter with our most recent columns and insights.
Have a question? Ask us!

We’d love to hear from you. Drop us a note, and we’ll respond to you as quickly as possible.

Ask us
contact us

This site uses cookies to ensure that we give you the best user experience. Cookies assist in navigation, analyzing traffic and in our marketing efforts as described in our Privacy Policy.