Reasons for manufacturers to have physical shop in internet shopping era

Amazon package has become a part of everyday life for Japanese living in Tokyo area. Like Starbucks,  it has come to be recognized without any sort of mass media advertisement. In advanced countries, combination of IT, logistics, e-money (including credit card), good packaging, and other factors made Internet shopping easy, satisfying, and mostly safe. So again, we ask this question, what could be the reason to have physical shop?

There are external reasons and internal reasons for having physical shop. Externally, the biggest reason is to strengthen the brand image by giving totally immersing experience. It’s similar to the Disney affect.  There is only one Disneyland in Japan, but people go there to experience Disney stories. The experience help sell their products through Internet and other shops too.  Another external reason is at the shop, with service of staff who is passionate about the brand they represent and love the products they sell, customer is lead to trying products they never thought they would try or discover with delight new products.

Perhaps “internal” reason needs to be defined first. It means something that comes from within, something that is not based on commercial or business reason. With that definition, internal reason for having physical shop is joy and happiness both the people from selling side and buying side have in being part of the physical place. Wherever we go, we are there for a reason, especially in shops. Usually, we go to a shop with purpose of finding out about or buying some product. Especially if a staff is truly interested in serving you without the intention to force you to buy and guide you into discovering delightful way of using what you already have or show you new product that you fall in love with, that’s when magic of brand is born. Thereafter, customers will buy the product through Internet if the choice is offered, but the faithfulness to the brand will be much stronger because of the physical experience they had.

The number of physical shops to be opened by manufacturers would depend on the convenience and overall profit balance of the type of product they make, but like church, if a manufacturer believe in their product, having physical shop is critically important.

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