Online retail powerhouse Amazon has taken direct aim at bricks-and-mortar retailers with the recent announcement of its TextBuyItservice. The service allows shoppers to text-message pricing inquiries and get Amazon prices, and purchase products immediately using their cell phone. This service is clearly targeted at consumers shopping in retail stores and it's very likely that other online retailers will follow with similar services. Bricks-and-mortar retailers have to find a way to retaliate, or risk losing even more customers to their online counterparts.
Best of Both Worlds
Almost all bricks-and-mortar retailers have an online store, and those that do are likely happy to have customers shop online. For instance, of the top ten online retailers, only three are pure-play online retailers (source: Virtual Marketing Blog). However, for smaller retailers that do not have a strong online presence, challenging the larger retailers can seem daunting. This is particularly true when online retailers like Amazon make it so easy for consumers to compare prices and make purchases using their cell phones.