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Old 04-12-2013, 03:34 PM
 
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What kinds of business still require a walk-in Storefront, or what kind of business do consumers demand or at least need there to be an actual place for them to walk into and speak with a real person face to face?

Besides restaurants obviously. Actually come to think of it, would food quality be better if entire restaurant did not have dining space, but devoted whole shop to producing food, and then just delivering it? Would it be financially feasible for doctors to travel to patience home in vans that has all the necessary equipment? I mean what sick person wants to leave their house anyways?
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Old 04-12-2013, 10:16 PM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
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There are a lot of brick/mortar business that will always exist. I would never buy a bed, or for that matter any furniture without trying it first. Ever try to get a haircut online?
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Old 04-12-2013, 10:49 PM
 
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Well to be honest, with the way RE prices are nowadays, maybe it better for barbers to start making house calls via appointments booked through a website kinda like Seamless web for haircuts. When you have a shop, you get this huge fixed cost, but you dont even know if and when people walk in. Man I just came up with a good e-biz.

I dont know about furniture. I can see people ordering furniture without trying it first because there is only so much variation. A sofa is a sofa, a bed is a bed.
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Old 04-12-2013, 11:14 PM
 
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Most things that sell items chosen primarily for tactile qualities combined with visual aesthetics that often are kinesthetic in nature.
Clothing, Footware, Outerware (less so), Automobiles, White Goods (appliances with lots of touch / use).

Even though size hasn't changed much I've found quality control on clothing and footwear, to be so lacking that it's best to go to a store carrying said items to try on.

One format I don't see going away and which will likely continue to grow well in our depressed economy with declining household incomes is the buy out , clearance , closeout type stores and goodwill (reseller type local places). It fulfills that 'finding a deal' hunter quality for those who still want to go out shopping somewhere.
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Old 04-13-2013, 09:15 AM
 
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I dont know about White Goods having a kinesthetic quality.

Me thinks stores that sell things that are needed right away. Usually when someone needs medicine for allergies, or cold, they cannot wait for a delivery. Or if you need to fix a broken pipe, or light bulb, or toilet, you cannot wait for a delivery. You need to go and get it right away yourself.
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Old 04-13-2013, 10:05 AM
 
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Yes, immediate availability seems to point to the need for a brick and mortar place to get the goods, but for those who are willing to pay extra, many items can still be delivered and possibly installed by someone else. Your examples of pipes and toilets coming from a physical store have the obvious alternative of coming from a plumber. If it is an emergency, you may just have to pay extra to get it done right away.

Convenience often costs more. Think about convenience stores. You can buy anything they offer (except maybe gasoline) someplace else for a usually lower price. However, people pay more to be able to get in and out quick and not have to go out of their way to get to a store selling what they want.

So, having a physical store is a way to keep the cost of goods down in many cases. I'm thinking about groceries. You can order just about any food item online, but shipping costs could be prohibitive. Buying from the local supermarket provides the customer a way to benefit from the grocer's lower consolidated shipping costs. You also get a chance to ensure the quality is what you are looking for. I've never used an online grocer. I can't imagine ordering fruit, paying for shipping, and then having it arrive bruised, wilted, or green as a gourd. Anyone who offers products with no charge for shipping are just inflating the prices to cover the cost. Or they require larger total purchases to ensure that profit will be made.

I disagree that a bed is just a bed, or a sofa is just a sofa. For some that may be true, but for most it is something they would rather see and touch in person before buying. However, I am still one that has bought furniture online before. I did it because the price was lower and I found what I had a hard time finding at local brick and mortar stores. I took a chance and was rewarded. Returns are a pain for online purchases, so I'm glad it worked out.

So, serving customers who want more convenient customer service is probably another reason to have a physical building. You could say that your traveling barber or hairdresser provides convenience, but at the same time it is inconvenient. Yes, for some it is convenient to have the barber or doctor come to their home, but for others it means they have to wait longer or pay more for the service.

There is always a possibility the traveling hair dresser or doctor won't be able to provide all the goods or services that a more traditional physical location can provide. They can't carry a whole storeroom full of products and equipment with them very easily. If they do, they will roll up in a big truck full of products and equipment. If they spend the money on all this, they might as well go with a physical location. Also, all the traveling around takes time and costs money for gas and wear and tear on a vehicle. It also means they may have to go out in snow, rain, etc. Road conditions might not be best at all times. The customer makes a single trip for a haircut, but a traveling barber will have to make dozens or hundreds of trips per month to be successful, and in all kinds of weather and road conditions like construction or congested traffic. It could work for some, but these are the challenges they should consider.

Someone mentioned that shopping gives somebody a chance to get out of the house and do something. This means that people also get something besides a product or service when they go to brick and mortar establishments. They get an experience. Places that sell an experience will always need physical locations. Think movie theater, bowling alley, sports bar, night club, sports arena, and even shopping malls. The better the experience, usually the more successful the business will be. It may be possible to get the same products or service without going to the physical location, but the experience is not the same. Some will pay for the greater experience. They will attend a ball game or a movie, rather than watching them on TV. Others will say that the cost or convenience of watching at home is more important to them. This is why different businesses develop a business plan that identifies their strategy and what kind of customers they will target. Are they more cost conscious or do they prefer luxury? Are they home bodies, or do they like to get out and do things? No business can serve everyone. You have to define who is your target market.
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Old 04-13-2013, 09:14 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJ Brazen_3133 View Post
What kinds of business still require a walk-in Storefront, or what kind of business do consumers demand or at least need there to be an actual place for them to walk into and speak with a real person face to face?
Strip Clubs
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Old 04-13-2013, 09:52 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJ Brazen_3133 View Post
I dont know about White Goods having a kinesthetic quality.

Me thinks stores that sell things that are needed right away. Usually when someone needs medicine for allergies, or cold, they cannot wait for a delivery. Or if you need to fix a broken pipe, or light bulb, or toilet, you cannot wait for a delivery. You need to go and get it right away yourself.

Correct, White goods themselves do not have a kinesthetic quality but white goods I mentioned due to many having frequent use and lots of touches by the user (Refrigerators, Ovens, Microwaves, Washer Dryers etc...) most people don't want the inconvenience and usually the decision makers (predominantly women) want them to have certain ergonomic features to fit into existing spaces for intended use and match and have certain features that are often best experienced by going to a brick and mortar location to 'experience' the product.
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Old 04-13-2013, 10:12 PM
 
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Where would the plumber get his parts?

I agree with grocery stores. But I wonder how supermarkets are able to compete with the Walmarts.

When it comes to cutting hair, you really only do this once your hair gets long. And that can take more than two weeks. So you can plan ahead of time for your barber to visit you, and tell them the style you want, so they bring the right tools.

I have not been in a movie theatre that offers a great experience. The ones that have been around for many years and are still standing have not added anything special to them. Any new ones cant afford to add something special because they already have high fixed costs. I still dont understand how the existing ones are still around with On Demand, and other such TV programs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by trythis View Post
Yes, immediate availability seems to point to the need for a brick and mortar place to get the goods, but for those who are willing to pay extra, many items can still be delivered and possibly installed by someone else. Your examples of pipes and toilets coming from a physical store have the obvious alternative of coming from a plumber. If it is an emergency, you may just have to pay extra to get it done right away.

Convenience often costs more. Think about convenience stores. You can buy anything they offer (except maybe gasoline) someplace else for a usually lower price. However, people pay more to be able to get in and out quick and not have to go out of their way to get to a store selling what they want.

So, having a physical store is a way to keep the cost of goods down in many cases. I'm thinking about groceries. You can order just about any food item online, but shipping costs could be prohibitive. Buying from the local supermarket provides the customer a way to benefit from the grocer's lower consolidated shipping costs. You also get a chance to ensure the quality is what you are looking for. I've never used an online grocer. I can't imagine ordering fruit, paying for shipping, and then having it arrive bruised, wilted, or green as a gourd. Anyone who offers products with no charge for shipping are just inflating the prices to cover the cost. Or they require larger total purchases to ensure that profit will be made.

I disagree that a bed is just a bed, or a sofa is just a sofa. For some that may be true, but for most it is something they would rather see and touch in person before buying. However, I am still one that has bought furniture online before. I did it because the price was lower and I found what I had a hard time finding at local brick and mortar stores. I took a chance and was rewarded. Returns are a pain for online purchases, so I'm glad it worked out.

So, serving customers who want more convenient customer service is probably another reason to have a physical building. You could say that your traveling barber or hairdresser provides convenience, but at the same time it is inconvenient. Yes, for some it is convenient to have the barber or doctor come to their home, but for others it means they have to wait longer or pay more for the service.

There is always a possibility the traveling hair dresser or doctor won't be able to provide all the goods or services that a more traditional physical location can provide. They can't carry a whole storeroom full of products and equipment with them very easily. If they do, they will roll up in a big truck full of products and equipment. If they spend the money on all this, they might as well go with a physical location. Also, all the traveling around takes time and costs money for gas and wear and tear on a vehicle. It also means they may have to go out in snow, rain, etc. Road conditions might not be best at all times. The customer makes a single trip for a haircut, but a traveling barber will have to make dozens or hundreds of trips per month to be successful, and in all kinds of weather and road conditions like construction or congested traffic. It could work for some, but these are the challenges they should consider.

Someone mentioned that shopping gives somebody a chance to get out of the house and do something. This means that people also get something besides a product or service when they go to brick and mortar establishments. They get an experience. Places that sell an experience will always need physical locations. Think movie theater, bowling alley, sports bar, night club, sports arena, and even shopping malls. The better the experience, usually the more successful the business will be. It may be possible to get the same products or service without going to the physical location, but the experience is not the same. Some will pay for the greater experience. They will attend a ball game or a movie, rather than watching them on TV. Others will say that the cost or convenience of watching at home is more important to them. This is why different businesses develop a business plan that identifies their strategy and what kind of customers they will target. Are they more cost conscious or do they prefer luxury? Are they home bodies, or do they like to get out and do things? No business can serve everyone. You have to define who is your target market.
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Old 04-13-2013, 10:16 PM
 
9,619 posts, read 8,031,989 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ciceropolo View Post
Correct, White goods themselves do not have a kinesthetic quality but white goods I mentioned due to many having frequent use and lots of touches by the user (Refrigerators, Ovens, Microwaves, Washer Dryers etc...) most people don't want the inconvenience and usually the decision makers (predominantly women) want them to have certain ergonomic features to fit into existing spaces for intended use and match and have certain features that are often best experienced by going to a brick and mortar location to 'experience' the product.
But these appliances all come with fixed standard sizes. LOLZ I laugh just imagining about women pandering over the "ergonomics" of a household appliance. Sounds like a network sitcom.
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