What’s your favorite instant coffee brand? Nescafe or Folgers? The answer actually has little to do with the taste — and everything to do with accessibility.
The Coffee-Jean Example
You can find Nescafe sachets and jars in a sari-sari or grocery store near you, but with Folgers, you have to search high and low or even order online for this imported brand. And the only way for you to know if this brand of coffee actually tastes good is by reading the reviews.
The same goes for buying a pair of pants. You don’t go online, purchase a pair that’s right for your waistline, and hope it fits from ankle to hips. Finding the perfect pair of jeans at the mall is already hard enough, so trying to guess your fit on the waist size and a few photos of a model seems nearly impossible. So if you’re running an online store that sells clothing, it still pays to rent a retail space in busy urban areas like Manila or Cavite.
Buyers Want to ‘Interact’ with the Product
A physical location still matters because shoppers, especially Pinoys, want to get a feel of the product before they decide to spend. They want to be able to compare products at the store, get advice from in-store professionals, avoid shipping fees, and have the product immediately in hand.
In that sense, while tablets and smartphones have made it more convenient to purchase items, there is still so much to be said for physical stores. It is, therefore, safe to say that having a physical store still matters.
Solution: Bridge the Two Forms
Of course, there are so many benefits to operating online; it makes it easier to more potential customers. But it could be a mistake to only focus your time, money, and energy online, so the wise solution here is to bridge the two forms.
With that, it’s important to keep this in mind: you don’t have to forget the importance of location and in-store experience just because the Internet came along.