Websites vs. Physical Stores: Online Business Trends for 2015

Over the last few years, we saw companies of all sizes embracing digital media for the most critical business processes. In the realm of sales and marketing, the online ecosystem has virtually become a default channel for activities such as product or service promotion and increasing customer loyalty. We can see this in the example of Coca-Cola, which is one of the leading brands that turns to digital media to increase brand awareness and manage the community of their fans.

Perhaps more obviously, Nike is using a more straightforward strategy to encourage their fans to move from physical stores to online shops. In one of the most visible business trends, Nike started prioritizing its web shop years ago and is still focused on strengthening their online sales channels. Jason Gube, founder of Six Revisions notes in a report by Crucial: “To illustrate how Nike is prioritizing their website, in some Nike retail stores, they actually have computer stations logged into that allow customers to build their shoes.”

Obviously, Nike’s strategy is heavily consumer-oriented and represents a great leap from traditional forms of running a business. “Prior to this, businesses would have informational/brochure sites built by a web designer in order to promote and market their physical stores. But today we’re seeing the complete opposite: Physical stores are promoting and marketing the business’s website,” notes Gube.

This way, Nike doesn’t only promote a contemporary lifestyle, but also encourages their fans to use technology in their everyday lives. Of course, this may have something to do with Nike’s long-lasting partnership with Apple, especially as the two companies plan to roll out the next generation fitness wearables. The Apple Watch Sport scheduled for release in 2015 will likely become a favorite device.

Considering the example of Nike and multiple other brands, the extent to which the Internet is changing the sales and marketing process is definitely huge. Obviously, even the companies that do not directly sell their products or services online can benefit from using digital media. Those that are opening web shops are certainly expected to follow the lead of brands such as Nike to adjust their business trends to this technological platform.

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Tech blogger and researcher fascinated with the way the business world changes in the digital age.
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