A shop is not a place
At one time, shops existed only in the physical realm. They acted as a real world meeting and exchange place for goods and people. Over the last 20 years, ecommerce has changed what it means to be a store. With innovation and technology coming at a faster rate due to the pandemic, the shift away from stores as physical places is more apparent than ever before.
While much of the course of ecommerce has been driven by companies built for digital commerce, businesses of all sizes and types are now utilizing digital commerce like never before. Nearly every business has been forced to reduce the importance of requiring customers to physically visit a store in order to make a purchase. It's no longer realistic to think that customers will wander in to shop, or that ecommerce is some sort of negative force used only by big tech companies.
If a shop's role is considered to be a facilitator of the exchange of goods and services to customers, a physical location is hardly a requirement. In fact, physical locations can often act as hindrances due to high costs, poor health conditions, space limitations, etc. It's now possible for shops to offer products in any number of ways (own website, marketplaces, facebook shop, delivery, pickup, etc) via a 'headless commerce' method that bring products to customers in the way that best suits the customer. Rethinking the role of shops in the digital commerce era may help to decouple shops from physical locations and build better shops for the future.