Those who were considering of starting a business in 2018 had to decide whether their business will conduct its sales online or there will be a physical store, or both. In 2017, the brick-and-mortar industry made over $3 billion while the emerging ecommerce earned $453 billion. However, ecommerce has taken the center stage in the retail industry especially due to the COVID-19 pandemic that left most people in the world confined to their homes for most of 2020. That means that they could not go out and therefore had to do their shopping online and companies like Amazon which were built for the digital ecommerce grew exponentially.
However, there are some brick-and-mortar retail stores such as Walmart continued to show their agility as they managed to significantly increase their levels of online order volume by adopting their sales and fulfillment strategies. However, as they are using new sales and fulfillment strategies to optimize operations and become a part of the ecommerce growth spurt, the brick-and-mortar retailers are not abandoning their physical stores. In fact, Walmart, Target, and other brick-and-mortar retailers have adopted new and very creative measures to increase the competitive advantages of their physical stores. These new creative measures include BOPIS (Buy Online Pickup In Store) options for most of their products and third-party market place vendors.
However, in order for assured growth and success of brick-and-mortar retail, merchants should build a network of 1to 2 day fulfillment network because customers know if they lack something in a physical store then they can turn to online shops and expect fast shipping guarantees.