Brick and mortar in a computer world
November 11, 2023
Just about the time I retired earlier this year, a friend of mine sold his brick-and-mortar business. But he started the same business online and absolutely loves it! He says he's doubled his business, doesn't have to contend with the servicing and basically sets the client up with the product and then steps back.
I can understand from a business perspective how this might be appealing, but what about the customer service we all grew up with as consumers and as small business owners?
I get that the world around us is changing. A recent survey stated 29 percent of people purchase as much as possible online. In 2012, the same survey showed only 19 percent of people purchasing online and 10 years prior to that in 2002 only 9 percent of consumers purchased online. Another survey showed by 2040 over 95 percent of all purchases will be made either online or with the help of an online presence. COVID accelerated those numbers as people became used to buying online since there was no alternative.
Businesses have changed to cope with this new reality with 71 percent of all small businesses having a website and the majority have employees who have the job of making sure the information is up to date and is accessible to potential and existing clients. Over 36 percent of small businesses are now making sales online to supplement their existing brick and mortar stores. How we do business is changing and changing rapidly. Those businesses who don't embrace the change will be left behind.
I would miss going into my bank or my local insurance agency or market to make my purchases. To say hello to old friends and make new ones. How we do business and where is changing, I hope we don't lose too much along the way as we embrace the change in how we do business.
Marty Pay is a contributing writer for The Loop newspaper and has been a Financial Planner for years and teaches Finance at a local university. He can be reached at Farmers Insurance in Tehachapi (661) 822-3737.