Balancing Business: Online and In-Store Sales

As stores work to serve customers, business has turned into a balancing act
SIOUX FALLS, S.D.- Major retailer Toys-R-Us has announced it’s filing for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy.

With many big-box retailers struggling, and some closing their doors, it prompts the question if online shopping habits have doomed brick-and-mortar stores.

“There’s definitely a benefit to having a brick and mortar,” said Shelly Gaddis, Owner and President of Elegant Mommy. “And for us, the biggest benefit to a brick and mortar is we get to build community we get to build those relationships with people.”

Elegant Mommy in Sioux Falls has made it a focus to provide the best support and service to new and growing families, but that client base can be difficult to attract in-store.

“Being a new parent is tough and sometimes being at home and just being able to hop online and snap something real quick and have it delivered to your door is really the easiest thing to do,” said Gaddis.

So the business is shifting focus to build a stronger online presence and marketplace.

“That’s what we’re doing through our website but also our social media outlets as well is really trying to build our same community online that we have worked to build in store,” said Gaddis

Across town, it’s somewhat of an opposite story.

“Everything in store you can do online so mainly we help people use our website, really.” Emily Erfman, Harold’s Photo Experts Director of Operations.

Harold’s Photo Experts brick and mortar store stands to serve online customers face-to-face.

“We have a lot of people that use the kiosk and get a lot of help if they don’t know sometimes their photos are on the cloud, that’s really confusing to everybody,” said Erfman.

As the photo industry transitions to more of a digital space, the store has consolidated and evolved.

“We have people that have prints, and their digital files so they don’t know how to combine them and make one book or like a graduation they have the kid from when they’re little their school picture all the way to their phone pictures,” Erfman.

As stores work to serve customers, business has turned into a balancing act juggling both storefronts and online marketplaces.