More and more people now do their shopping online, in the comfort of their home.
The growth of internet shopping is affecting how local stores do business with their customers.
At Art's Music Store in Dothan, the impact of the worldwide web can be felt. With websites such as 1,2,3 Music.com many customers like Aaron Johnson are expecting local merchants to match or beat online prices.
However, local businesses like Art's are finding it difficult to compete with internet vendors. Since they have higher overhead costs and can't order in large wholesale quantities, it is difficult to offer prices which are lower than those advertised online.
Despite the temptation of lower prices, other customers say they would prefer to deal with a locally owned business on purchases.
Another issue, local business owners contend, is the issue of customer service during and after the sale. With an online purchase, local customers could be left without a way to get their purchases repaired, if the item ever needs service.
Art's Music Store says internet competition has its benefits. They say customers are now better informed about their purchase decisions which has resulted in better customer service at their store, competitive upfront pricing, and the creation of a new website. These changes might have changed Aaron Johnson's mind about buying his new keyboard online, and instead here locally.
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