Despite the rise of online shopping and e-commerce, physical stores are not expected to disappear for the foreseeable future. On the contrary, stores are proving themselves an important part of the retail landscape.
While online shopping is convenient and offers many benefits, brick-and-mortar stores still play a vital role in the retail landscape. To succeed in retail, it is important to understand the needs of consumers and to dare to lean on the factors that make customers choose physical stores, instead of trying to imitate online shopping by carrying a wide inventory and offering low prices. Here, we list four central aspects through which physical stores and e-commerce differ.
Customer experience: Physical stores offer customers the opportunity to touch, feel, and try products before purchase. This sensory experience cannot be replicated online, and it is often a deciding factor in the decision making process for many consumers.
Personal service: In retail, customers can interact with knowledgeable staff who are able to identify needs and provide personalized recommendations and advice. This level of service has not been achieved by e-retailers even with the best chat bots on the market.
Instant gratification: At physical stores, customers can receive their purchases immediately, without having to wait for shipping or worry about delivery problems. This instant gratification is especially important for certain product categories, such as clothing and electronics, where customers may need or want to use the product the same day.
Social experience: Physical stores offer customers the opportunity to socialize and interact with other customers, creating a sense of community and belonging. It is also a way to socialize regardless of age group.
Retail and e-commerce in synergy
We believe that a multi-channel approach is the key to success, which means that retailers need to integrate physical stores with their online presence and vice versa. By doing so, customers are provided a seamless shopping experience across multiple channels, making it more convenient and personal than just shopping online. This will strengthen your brand.
Would you like to know more about crafting a unified experience for your customers? Contact us for a free, no-obligation meeting!