As online shopping has become more popular, we’ve seen a decline in physical store sales. In 2015, Sears Holdings closed more than 200 Sears and Kmart stores across the country. Some people believe that the sales have declined due to poor customer service, but really, it is the result of changing customer habits. Here are a few reasons why brick-and-mortar sales have gone down. The customers no longer want to be told what to buy , or be constrained to purchasing what is in the stores. Why should they be, when they have a multitude of online options from which to choose from and compare prices? Customers have become more savvy when it comes to knowing how to get what they want. Besides brick-and-mortar stores, they can also choose from the online stores of popular brands, designers, special boutiques or even third party sellers. They know that purchasing in store at that moment might not be the best deal for them. Online shopping offers an experience that physical stores can’t : comfort. For those that are uncomfortable with physical interaction, online buying can allow them to purchase a whole new wardrobe without talking to a single person. It’s convenient for those without reliable transportation or someone who has trouble leaving the house. It’s also just easier for those who don’t feel like getting out and fighting crowds. Why should they, when they can buy the same thing with a click without changing out of their pajamas? Sales have become more gimmicky. While it was once a way to draw crowds into the store, customers have now come to expect markdowns and discounts. Stores may try to keep it up to keep customers coming in, but frequent sales devalue the merchandise. No one wants to purchase anything for full price if they know waiting a little while will practically guarantee a discount. Retailers need to change their direction if they want to continue bringing customers into the store. If shopping is seen as a chore instead of a fun experience, no one wants to shop. The stores can try different marketing to bring in consumers, including omnichannel efforts. While in-store, customers can use their devices or in-store kiosks to purchase additional items while they are there. Own a brick and mortar style store? You might be interested in: Reinvention Of Brick And Mortar Is The Key To Success In the end, physical stores are needed, especially for industries where customers need their products right away or in an emergency. They just need to change their tactics for engaging customers and getting them in the door.