Online presence a must in the modern retail era
Ehda Dagooc (The Freeman) - December 7, 2015 - 9:00am

CEBU, Philippines – Building an extensive and visually "appetizing" webpage is a vital requirement for retailers to thrive in a highly competitive environment, a market intelligence specialist suggested.

While creating presence online is indispensable in the modern retail era, presence however is not enough. Visual presentation, marketing promotions, and innovative baits should be done in the online interaction, before a customer could decide to come to the physical store to buy, said GFK Retail and Technology Philippines, president and chief executive officer (CEO) Benedicto Villanueva.

The modern retail environment now largely uses the internet as its "window shopping" platform. And if a brand or a store is not visible online, it can easily be forgotten, Villanueva said.

Using innovative "baits" to arouse a customer's whim to shop, is also very effective in the online store operation.

Although online shopping per se is also gaining ground for some tech-savvy customers,  existence of physical stores is here to stay, he reassured.

Retailers, he suggested should "romance" the market, beginning with their "irresistible" presence online. This will give customers the idea that the brand or the store is much "alive" and is constantly updating.

Catching customers' attention should be done first in the online highway, then  slowly taking them to the stores' physical location.

Because of this, retailers are encouraged to invest seriously on online presence--maximizing all Internet portals, such as social media, among others.

Experts have found out that maintaining an online presence at the same time operating the traditional "brick and mortar" are both important to stay in the business.

Villanueva said while online shopping has not really taken off well in the Philippines yet, it is clear that even in the developed countries, "brick and mortar" stores are still very much alive, erasing the impression that online shopping could mean the death of operating physical presence.

Brick And Mortar is a traditional "street-side" business that deals with its customers face to face in an office or store that the business owns or rents. The local grocery store and the corner bank are examples of "brick and mortar" companies.

"What is happening now is people make virtual [window] shopping, to search for savings, discounts, available styles, and choices, but they eventually visit the [physical] store to feel, touch and buy the item," said Villanueva. (FREEMAN)

BENEDICTO VILLANUEVA BRICK BRICK AND MORTAR ONLINE PHYSICAL PRESENCE QUOT RETAIL AND TECHNOLOGY PHILIPPINES SHOPPING STORE VILLANUEVA
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