The other day, I was looking for 3 juggling balls to buy. Why? That’s a story for another day, but I thought to myself, where should I go to find juggling balls in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania? Walmart, Dick’s Sporting Goods, etc.?
You might be reading this and saying to yourself it seems so obvious, just jump on the web and order it online. I could even choose when and where to have it delivered. Perhaps, even within a few hours. All of that at the lowest price, highest quality, best peer review and after viewing videos of “expert” jugglers who suggest what they like…and on and on and on.
I challenge anyone reading this to find me a person (ok, maybe more than just 1 or 2) that doesn’t first look online before buying something they want or need.
If the search helps you to find it locally, well then that’s probably a nice benefit if you feel like driving over and picking it up. But chances are you’ll find it on a website and have it shipped within a day or two. It’s just the way it is.
This is because while we may have been tiptoeing in this direction for years, a recent confluence of events, like a global pandemic, truly catapulted retail toward this online first, in-store second world even faster than many had anticipated. I found research by Digital Commerce 360 in January that said consumers spent $861.12 billion online with U.S. merchants in 2020, up 44 percent compared to the year prior -- the highest annual U.S. ecommerce growth in at least two decades.