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Old 04-11-19, 09:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
I think it's not so much a case of LBS'a not being able to compete with online stores, it's that they don't even try.
Do a test to see how stores stack up. Look up some local LBS's and see what their web presence looks like to online shoppers and how interactive it is. Can you see their products and prices... what do their order and delivery times look like?
I do that and often see clunky websites that don't list items (so I still have to visit or call) and haven't been updated in years.. sometimes many years. If it hasn't been updated in years that means the store has not cared to consider the main way people look at products for that length of time. If it's generic and bland and it looks like they don't care about that market base that's the image they portray.

Recent example.
Wanting to order 2 new tires.
Look at local LBS website (50km's away). Price $130 (+tax). Estimated shipping time 10-14 days from warehouse (60km's away), pick up in store.
Look at online store. $83 (includes tax and shipping). Estimated shipping time 4 days (from England). Actual shipping time - 3 days to my door.

Who's trying and who's not.

Even if I accept the price differential how could one justify the shipping time. I can only chalk it up to institutional thinking that probably serves the shop in some way but loses them that sale. They may say, who cares, it's just one sale but it's one x how many others and future potential sales as they see how easy and convenient it is to buy online. The difference is that the online store wants the online customer, thought about the process from the customer perspective and made it work for them. The local LBS did not even try.

Economies of scale--they either have to put in a huge amount of resources (warehouse, supplier contracts, packing, shipping, tax compliance, etc.) in an online ordering service, front for another one, or just not be competitive per unit/price with big online retailers.

I see pages like that, and it's usually an LBS that's doing ok with in-person service, and hasn't taken down the shopping page after trying unsuccessfully to do online sales on the cheap.
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