Continuing on the previous post on how traditional channels are being threatened by online channels this post tries to understand the impact across product categories. The example which I often talk about is the closure of Gangarams Store in Bangalore. I think most of walking on M G Road would visit the book store to look for new books. And for a die-hard book fan its closure marked a major milestone on how people would buy books in the future. But one question which I still think about is that even today I first check-out books in the physical stores and then buy them online unless there is a real urgency or I am traveling with no books. So the importance of the physical stores in the experiential part even in a category like books is still strong, but how long will the physical stores manage to survive. In a period of six years I have seen a Landmark Store open and close down in Lucknow.....
Books as a category are the most favorable for online shopping, so consumers taking to online buying of books are not surprising. But more interesting are categories like jewellery where traditional brick-n-mortar stores like Tanishq have worked for many years to move the consumers away from family jewelers to their stores. The new online options like bluestone . com are ones which will face the uphill task of convincing consumers to buy online. Books and Jewellery perhaps form the two ends of the spectrum of online buying..
But one thing is sure we as consumers are in for exciting times.