Looking at the most recent technologies, it would seem that the future of retail is online. More consumers are hitting the web to search for the latest products or are pulling out a mobile device while in the store to check prices in a different outlet. Amazon, a leader of the e-commerce realm, brought in $61 billion worldwide in 2013.
All of that seems to point toward new dominance of the retail world. However, taking a closer look shows that nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, according to the Department of Commerce, online shopping is only responsible for an estimated 6 percent of sales numbers.
The reason for this, according to a study from WD Partners, is in the feelings toward shopping of different age groups.
"In the study, Baby Boomers and Gen-Xers were kind of rooting for the stores," WD Partner' Lee Peterson told Forbes. "It's nostalgic. It's emotional. Whereas shopping online is clinical. It's, 'I logged on, I found my Under Armour top, I pressed a button and got it four days later.' The younger respondents got, the less physical experience mattered."
Having surveyed more than 1,700 consumers across the demographic spectrum, 79 percent of respondents cite the "instant ownership" potential of shopping in a physical store as the most appealing attribute of any retailers, online or off. Other things cited include "touch and feel" or sensory perceptions of stores (75 percent) and exclusive products and bargains (65 percent).
The report also found that for organizations to make true waves into the future, they will need to upgrade their current POS and payment processing software as the first steps to improving their brick and mortar locations.