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Despite popular belief, malls aren’t dead!

May 30, 2014

Many businesses have come to the conclusion that physical retail locations are out of fashion, and that the future lies in e-commerce and online credit card payment processing pages.

Many businesses have come to the conclusion that physical retail locations are out of fashion, and that the future lies in e-commerce and online credit card payment processing pages.

For one example, look at Wet Seal: PMYNTS.com recently reported, citing information provided by company CEO John Goodman, that it would be refocusing entirely on e-commerce in the next few years. That’s because the company’s in-store sales are decreasing (by almost 17 percent during the last quarter) while its online sales are simultaneously increasing (up by more than 8 percent during the same quarter.)

“While mall traffic remains soft, we are implementing our refined product, pricing and promotional strategies designed to strengthen customer engagement and drive conversion,” Goodman told the news outlet. “At the same time, we are continuing to see marked improvement in our Wet Seal e-commerce business thus far in the second quarter.”

However, studies show that malls and in-store retail are still extremely important to brands and organizations
Many might suspect that the figures shown at Wet Seal remain consistent across all retail outlets, and that all such businesses are orienting their attention toward online commerce. However, a recent survey – conducted by OpinionLab and reported on by CNBC – suggests otherwise.

According to that report, even millennial shoppers that grew up with the internet prefer malls and physical store locations to shopping online. The study found that 37 percent of those between the ages of 18 and 29 prefer malls to online commerce, while only 27 percent say that online shopping is their favorite way to buy a product. 

“The mall isn’t dead for millennials,” Mark Treschl, president and chief technology officer at OpinionLab, told CNBC. “Instead, our research shows that the physical store remains a strong positive for retailers and that there are real advantages for omnichannel brands who can evolve the shopping experience around value, connection and meaningful tech features.”

The comments and statistics provided by OpinionLab show that both online and in-store shopping – and payment options – are necessary for success. Shoppers want businesses to sell them products through in-store, online and mobile credit card payment processing pages, rather than for retailers to focus or select one above the others. The report concluded by noting that “overall, shoppers said they prefer retailers who operate both a physical store and a website, [as opposed] to those who only have an online shop.”

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