How is the purpose of stores evolving?

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Written By Charlotte Miller

Walk-in and e-commerce stores are vital sources for the provision of our daily needs. Post-pandemic, methods of shopping have drastically changed. To add on, the purpose of the stores has evolved. The requirement for products keeps on increasing, and the introduction of new ones shows continual growth in the demand.

From the distribution of products to supply chain logistics, advancements have happened. The changes have also led to a difference in consumer and shopping behaviour. The methods of engagement, spreading awareness of a store, and consumer-producer interaction are now taken over digitally.

The main objective of the stores providing either necessary goods or leisure brands is to maximize their profit while maintaining a good consumer interaction. The introduction of digital marketing has made the distribution of these goods and services a lot easier. The evolving store is a pathway for a potentially permanent change in the methods we shop. It would lead to a more convenient, faster, and more high-quality experience

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 A transition: Walk-in to e-commerce stores

The first walk-in store was in Greece in 800 BC. Things have changed pretty fairly since then. Here is an insight into the various kind of stores that the world has seen.

 1) Family-owned stores

In the 18th and 19th centuries, small families set up stores to sell their goods and services for having a source of income. Products like medicines, fabrics and, necessary tools were sold for survival. It was a necessity so that the families could settle down.

 2) Introduction of departmental stores

With the change in the economy, the concept of a formal department store came into the picture. The introduction of it happened in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The developing economic status created additional demand in the market.

 3) Visibility of shopping malls

 Malls entered the market to improve the physical outlook and experience of shopping. The first shopping mall was in the 20th century in 1922. Further ahead, an improvement in the financial sector led to credit cards, which were no less than a boon for the industry.

 3) The very first Walmart

 To maximize growth in shopping and geographically spread stores, the first Walmart came into the light. The products ranged from necessities to luxury, and Walmart stocked them all. Its interior structure and availability of high-end products attracted more customers, changing the way that stores work forever.

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4) E-commerce- a new outlook

 People started looking for convenience in shopping, and online stores provided the same. A trend the shopping industry faced was in 1995 with the introduction of Amazon. A success of 10 billion dollars enticed other brands to develop their online stores. Today, we can have a provision of all our basic needs just with one click.

5) Social media as a tool

The introduction of digital marketing led social media to become a powerful tool for advertising and sponsoring small businesses. Based on their niche, people started setting up their stores and used social media to advertise them. Currently, 90% of online stores sell a good or service using social media to maximize profit.

Increase in e-commerce post-pandemic

The pandemic changed the functioning of all the sectors and highly affected e-commerce. All the stores shifted online due to the lockdown restrictions. Digital marketing proved to be beneficial for the same. Social media and online stores were the only means of shopping in 2020. It gave small businesses a chance to expand their services and products. Plus, there was a drastic change in consumer behaviour. People who didn’t use online means of shopping started doing the same. There was also a transformation in the consumer and producer interaction. eCommerce exhibited a 19% growth of sales in the year 2020, proving to be an optimal channel for the functioning of stores.

Scope of the future

With the rise in the use of the Internet, it is roughly estimated that there is a possibility of a permanent shift. Physical malls will soon become an option due to the availability of e-commerce. The shrink in the number of physical spaces post-pandemic suggests the growth of stores will continue but on an online platform. The turnover due to the same will also increase as online stores are more cost-efficient.


Since the goal of stores is to maximize their profit and cater to the requirement of the consumers, the shift it has undergone has effectively bridged the gap between production and availability. Although the pandemic was a forced evolution, many believe it was necessary to push the stores out of a rut. This layout of an omnichannel presence could be the new normal for the industry.