Can Brick-and-Mortar Retailers Survive Amazon?

It’s a holly-jolly time of year for consumers, who are shopping in droves online and at brick-and-mortar stores across the United States.

How well are brick-and-mortar retailers or those with both brick-and-mortar and online offerings doing, compared to Amazon?

In many respects, they’re doing fine, thank you. Why? Online shopping and brick-and-mortar experiences are markedly different, so despite Amazon Prime and Amazon Prime Now, physical shops retain many business advantages (that includes Amazon’s brick-and-mortar extensions):

  • A 2014 study notes that seven in 10 online users said they bought products from physical stores at least once every month. Online shopping was in second place, while mobile purchases came in at third.
  • Enabling customers to touch and test merchandise gives retailers a classic tactic—one they’ve put billions of dollars into successfully marketing.
  • Retailers with unique products are in their own class and can ramp up their marketing via add-ons like free delivery, daily deals, giving out product samples, and urging customers to pre-order.
  • Despite online retail holiday sales rising 14.7% year over year to $108 billion in 2017--with Amazon grabbing most of that amount—nearly 85% of holiday sales were in brick-and-mortar stores, according to Gartner L2's Intelligence Report: Omnichannel 2018.

The Secret Sauce: Expert Picking & Fulfillment for Expert Customer Service

By many accounts, Amazon is helping retailers increase efficiency, by leveraging data to create exceptionally accurate profiles for shoppers—a lesson that benefits retailers who are paying attention and want to enhance their own customer service.

It can be tempting to move inventory online, but a focus on your brand and customer service and increasing your efficiency will make just as much sense for your bottom line, aided by a combination of automating and improving promotional planning, inventory allocation, general pricing, and loyalty management business processes.

Rather than struggling with inaccurately fulfilled orders and customer complaints, why not think about sequencing your goods for packing and fulfillment, you can also:

  • Employ workstations that remove the headaches caused by poorly optimized packing stations for retail orders
  • Ensure your workers can feed SKUs into workstations in a consistent sequence that prevents errors in the packing process and keeps the necessary SKUs for an order at the point of pick
  • Integrate carton flow solutions with steel workbenches and a variety of accessories to reduce clutter in a packer’s workspace and keep the packing process neat, orderly and accurate
  • Integrate with conveyor pointing to your shipping and receiving area to keep packers preparing orders without wasting time transporting finished orders manually to the loading dock
  • Keep finished orders flowing out for shipment in a proper sequence and make sure your packing stations do not become overwhelmed with orders waiting to be packed


With the help of order picking solutions that speed fulfillment and reduce errors in picking from UNEX Manufacturing, brick-and-mortar retailers can keep customers satisfied. Want more information? Contact your UNEX Pickologist today.

Posted by: UNEX