The offline and online worlds will soon merge as rents fall, says a Sydney-based ecommerce specialist.
Brady Gunn, who operates the Dockhub online iPod speaker dock store, says the only thing stopping many ecommerce sites from having a 'high street' presence is rent - and shop rentals are already falling, making the prospect more appealing.
"Retail landlords are facing a lack of tenants and we will start to see them drop their rents accordingly," Mr Gunn says.
"I can see a trend emerging for offline/online presence - and smart retailers are already understanding this."
The main benefit for on-line businesses has been low overheads, primarily rent savings, and lower online marketing costs.
"Bricks-and-mortar retailers complain that they are suffering at the hands of online stores, but my customers tell me they'd love to come into a store to view my goods," he says.
"I look forward to the 'Them vs. Us' syndrome coming to an end. There is a place for both. We love the convenience of online shopping, but we still love going shopping on a Saturday!"
"Products still need to be stored. Customers prefer to try things on, see and test products in the flesh. Online stores know that. But they also know that customers love to save money.
"The tipping point will be the rents coming down. Then you will see online retailers in real life!
"Once online stores enter the retail world we will find our shopping experience changing drastically. The online world will be brought in-store with digital staff and interactive terminals. This will be both novel and cost-effective."
Mr Gunn points to Argos stores in the UK as a good example of the future. Customers shop on computer terminals at the front of the store. They can pay with a card and then take a seat while their product is brought from the warehouse area. A number is called and the product collected.
"These systems save retailers a huge amount of manpower, therefore money," Mr Gunn says. "Fear not, retail shopaholics - your shopping experience is about to get better!"
Dockhub is committed to bringing you the best electronic equipment at the best possible prices.
Dockhub’s founders are passionate about music and technology but believe Australians pay too much for quality products. Our buyers scour the globe for unique products which are then rigorously tested by our technicians.
Dockhub offers competitive prices by:
Selling Online. Being an online seller enables us to service our customers 24-hours a day 7-days a week at a substantially lower cost than traditional retailers who have to pay high rents, wages and overheads.
Targeted Narrow Range. We stock a narrow range at any one time targeting unique and innovative products. Placing bulk orders provides savings that we are able to pass on to our customers.
No middle men. Our buyers deal directly with overseas manufacturers to bring the latest technology to the Australian market. Cutting out the middle men enables us to provide great prices.
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P: 0415 111 251