Department stores are large scale retail shops, usually situated at a central location in the heart of a city, divided into a number of specialized sections, each selling a particular merchandise, such as designer clothes and shoes, fashion accessories, lingerie, cosmetics and perfume, home appliances, electronics, sporting goods, toys and furniture.
For decades, these gigantic physical all-purpose retail establishments were considered as iconic urban landmarks and were seen as core social and economic institutions that helped shaping the spirit of modern consumerism and mainstream shopping culture.
In an era where ecommerce is being passionately embraced by more and more consumers from all demographic groups, these traditional multi-brand retail chains invest all their strategic efforts to prove they can still remain an indispensable part of the national, regional and local commercial puzzle, even in today’s 24/7 digital shopping landscape.
Many consumers prefer to do a significant part of their shopping in department stores due to a variety of reasons. The big chains offer many key advantages to the typical shopper:
- Convenience – This model offers a one-stop shopping experience, as a wide variety of goods can be purchased in a single place, which can save a lot of time and hassle for people with busy lifestyles.
- Selection – This concept offers a great choice of popular, fashionable and innovative products in many well-defined categories, all under one roof, management and ownership.
- Brands – Most of the major department stores were built around the ‘house of brands’ concept that features many different labels, top designers and leading manufacturers, making it easy to find new and exciting styles.
- Location – Most physical stores are located in central urban areas, making them extremely accessible for most individuals.
Due to their prime locations, they enjoy massive walk-in traffic.
- Security – Major retailers comply with all intellectual property laws and sell only original authentic goods, so shoppers can buy luxury designer items and high-ticket merchandise with complete peace of mind and confidence.
- Experience – This traditional retail environment offers an appealing customer experience and a great vehicle for inspiration and discovery.
Department stores that sell ‘everything’ come in many shapes, forms and market categories.
Each tier has its own retail mix characteristics in terms of type of merchandise sold, variety and assortment of goods, designer and name-brand merchandise policy, level of customer service, pricing strategy and target audience:
- Discount Stores
- Off-Price Retailers
What Do Department Store Websites Offer?
Online departmentalized retailers offer a broad range of merchandize in multiple categories from a long list of popular domestic and international brands.
From high-end chains that specialize in exclusive premium designer merchandise and expensive luxury goods all the way to heavy discounters and mass merchants that serve price-conscious customers and bargain hunters.
As one of the traditional pillars of the entire retail industry in the U.S., this sector continues to adapt to the massive technological and social changes that the digital age has created.
As a result, the companies shift more resources to their online assets: their websites and mobile phone apps, in order to increase revenue through online shopping.
As digital channels are responsible for more and more sales, the major players in this market continuously expand their ecommerce platforms in an effort to enhance consumers’ online experiences and add value to their ongoing relationships with them.
Department store websites often offer free shipping (with or without a minimum purchase threshold), fast in-store pick-up options, store credit card as well as special sales, discounts and promotions.
Here are some of the categories that can be found in many typical large retail chain shopping sites on the web:
- Women’s Apparel
- Men’s Clothing
- Children’s & Junior’s Clothes
- Jewelry & Watches
- Bed & Bath
- Sports Equipment
Paying for Department Store Goods with PayPal
Many popular department store ecommerce sites in the market accept PayPal and take a variety of other payment methods such as credit cards, debit cards, wire transfers, gift cards and more.