What Traditional Store Fronts Can Teach Us About Consumers


March 31, 2017

A few decades ago, consumers had really limited options when it came to buying products and services. We either resorted to the local stores in our community or went further afield to larger towns and cities, guided by a telephone directory, to search out service providers.
And then, without warning, the internet happened.
Suddenly, instead of the small, community-centric buying options of our local shop, there was this strange new global platform which provided details of products and services nationwide, or even further afield.
As if that wasn’t complex enough, huge consumer giants appeared such as Ebay and Amazon, transforming the shopping experience forever. Amazon, for example, started out as a medium book-selling enterprise. Today, you can buy everything from apples through to hammers and nails through their relentlessly large enterprise.
As a result, businesses seeking out web design in Toronto have realised that their online brand has to be as engaging and accessible as any store front. While the trend for ecommerce increases, firms are becoming more concerned with their online presence, search engine optimisation to encourage traffic, and a streamlined ecommerce interface.
However, we are in a unique time when it comes to purchasing trends and consumer requirements. For, while more and more people are researching online prior to making purchases, many customers still prefer to step into a local store to buy their goods.
What This Can Teach Us About Today’s Marketing Needs
In today’s climate of technology, smartphones and comparison sites, there is still a lesson to be taken from the traditional store front. When people seek out products online, we are still clinging to a degree of traditionalism. We want a shop front online to be as engaging, welcoming and easy to deal with as physical premises. We want unswervingly warm customer service, easily navigable products on display, and a strong commitment to the view that the customer is always right.
For web site owners, this means that we need to be focusing upon the small details through our ecommerce ventures. Simple search capabilities that equate to the ease of asking a customer assistant where we may find a certain product in the aisles. Someone to greet us in the form of a friendly message. A clear pathway through our purchasing experience, guided by on-hand help and assistance should we need it. Finally, a warm thank you for having made a purchase and some friendly reminders to come back again, soon.
For all consumerism may be heading towards a clinical online experience, there are still enough shoppers out there who remember the ease and simplicity of the corner shop, and how it made buying special. From an interesting, non-cluttered homepage through to the impression of available, friendly and helpful staff, shoppers want to be made to feel special. By maintaining the principles which previous generations used for physical premises, ecommerce entrepreneurs can maximise their chances of developing a loyal, brand-affectionate customer base, online.