Look around this great country of ours, and you’ll see that something shocking is happening right before our eyes; the death of an American icon. A symbol of American culture is dying off. What is this dying icon of American prosperity?
Take a drive anywhere in this great country of ours. Something is changing right before our eyes. The death of the American shopping mall. What role does the Cloud play in this?
It wasn’t that long ago that we packed up the family and made the trek to the local mall. Or we planned a family getaway to visit the “big city” to spend a weekend shopping at the mall. The US shopping mall, once a symbol of prosperity, is now closing down across the country at alarming rates.
Who’s to blame for this shift in American culture? Big box retail? Online distributors? Years ago, I realized that in order for US retailers to be successful in the future, they needed both an online presence as well as the traditional brick and mortar establishment.
Consumers want flexibility. They want to be able to shop at 2 am and not have to make that trip to the local mall where crowds once frequented. Now, they want packages delivered to their homes with everything they need.
Online retailers with cloud technologies can now reach the shopper on their turf, securely process payments, and then arrange for their goods or services to be delivered, often overnight and for free.
With the advent of online shopping, plus the effect of the Great Recession, big-brand retailers like Macy’s and JCPenny that acted as anchors in many of our malls had a drop in sales and foot traffic. Between 2010 and 2013, mall visits during the holiday season, the busiest shopping time of the year, dropped by 50%. And since 2002, department stores have lost 448,000 jobs, a 25% drop.
However, there’s been a shift in where these jobs have gone. With online retailers like Amazon, some of these jobs have been replaced by ones in massive distribution centers around the country.
According to Sylvia Tolbert, an assistant professor at the John Hopkins Carey Business School, online stores provide customers with a price comparison platform. Approximately 50% of Americans have prioritized their needs more than wants, and 42% now make a more practical purchase while 36% have become budget conscious.
She goes on to report three ways that make online shopping a good thing:
1. It’s Faster and Easier To Shop Online
You can now quickly find a product online, as well as related products. You’ll have a large selection to choose from, and you can more effectively compare features and prices. It would take you much longer and more effort to do this physically going from store to store.
Some e-stores keep an ongoing record of your purchases in their data center in the Cloud. This makes it easy to go back to their site and click on what you liked and purchase it again without searching for it. Brick-and-mortar stores can’t compete with this kind of convenience.
2. Online Shopping Gets Products In Front Of More Consumers
In addition, retailers can now get their products in front of more of their target audience. And with social media like Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter, friends can share information about products they find with others with the click of a button.
Remember the Faberge Organics Shampoo commercial in the early ’80s? … “I told two friends about Faberge Organic Shampoo, and they told two friends, and so on and so on.” It was a very popular commercial. Now, we’re doing the same with social media.
3. Online Stores Provide A Better Customer Service
With e-chats, easy-to-complete online forms, and email, it’s much easier to tap into customer service online than it is in a brick-and-mortar store. No waiting in line, no wandering through a large department store lugging a heavy item to return.
With the click of a button, you can reach online customer service, and in some instances, they’ll even pay for you to return the product you no longer want. If you have questions about a product, all you have to do is to go to a FAQs page in most instances to find the answer; and you can do this all from the comfort of your home.
The Cloud is a major disrupter when it comes to shopping. How can it help the MSP industry? This is a discussion we’re ready to have with you.
To get the most from the Cloud for your MSP, you must “shop online” wisely when looking for a Cloud Service Provider. Look for one that has experience as an MSP, like CPU.
With this experience, you’ll get the help you need to profit from cloud services. And you’ll also get the marketing support required to reach more clients.
Just like you provide the best customer service for your clients, shop online for a Cloud Service Provider who does the same.
Want to continue this conversation? Let’s discuss how the CPU Cloud can benefit your MSP business and give you a competitive advantage in the marketplace.
Want more ideas about how the Cloud can help your MSP business? Check out our Tech Articles online.