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7

FAST FACT:

Sam’s Club offers

customers a physical-online

crossover experience by allow-

ing them to pay for in-store

purchases with the store app.

Why Main Street Still Matters

D

espite the popularity of online

shopping, there are plenty of

reasons to continue purchasing in brick-

and-mortar stores. The most compelling

is the ability to physically see and interact

with products before buying. This is

especially useful with clothing since size,

color, and fit can’t truly be evaluated

without trying an item on. Seeing how

things like computers and appliances

function in the real world before taking

them home is also highly useful.

Direct communication with another

human is something else that can’t be

replicated online. Consumers appreciate

this aspect of shopping at a physical store,

especially when retailers use technology

to drive a more personalized experience

such as remembering customer prefer-

ences and offering customized shopping

advice and pointers to new products.

In addition, there’s nothing quite like

the satisfaction of being able to bring

an item home the same day— such as

installing your new TV and binge-

watching your favorite show that

night, or cooking up a great barbeque

for friends on a new grill that after-

noon. The bring-it-home-today factor

is an advantage over online shopping,

which involves not only waiting for

shipping but also paying for it.

Finally, shopping your city’s downtown or

the nearest mall is great for your commu-

nity because the dollars you spend there

go right back into the local economy. That

revenue helps maintain a local flavor by

selling regional items. It also enables small

businesses to hire more of your friends

and neighbors. Plus, since small businesses

tend to donate more than national chains,

it helps worthy local nonprofits to assist

more of those in need.

So, keep clicking “buy” online, but don’t

forget to also shop regularly at local

stores. Main Street is the main reason

your community is what it is.

TakeThese AppsWith

YouWhenYou Shop

Going shopping in the physical

world? Don’t forget these apps to

help you find the best deals!

RetailMeNot

Presents deals from

thousands of retailers, as well as

personalized offers.

Flipp

This app collects coupons,

deals, and offers from various stores

to help you plan your shopping.

Shopular

Displays only deals ap-

propriate to you based on location

or product type.

ShopSavvy

Scan barcodes or do a

search for a specific item to find the

best prices.

SlickDeals

View the best deals

from a wide variety of stores.

Coupon Sherpa

Offers hundreds

of coupons that you can sort by

location, brand, or product type.