It is estimated that in 2020, more than 80% of retail sales will still happen within physical stores
With the recent inundation of technology, customers are more inclined towards online shopping. Be it e-commerce or food, customers prefer to get things delivered at their doorsteps.
Then why are online behemoths like Nykaa, UrbanLadder, Lenskart are so keen on expanding offline?
This is because; the traditional brick and mortar store allows customers to go through entirely different experiences, still unavailable online. Factors like the smells, sounds, and human interaction that can be found at a store are hard to replace and will likely be a driving factor for brick-and-mortar survival. It is estimated that in 2020, more than 80% of retail sales will still happen within physical stores. Below is a list of reasons why online giants are expanding offline.
Trust is the major factor behind the growth of offline stores. According to a study, it was found that women and rural users are still either not interested or afraid of buying online. It may be due to, technological complexities, concerns over durability and functionality, bad experiences over past online shopping, etc.
Most of the customers in India are reluctant to expose their personal details including credit and debit card details in the virtual world because of privacy concerns. People tends to trust a brand more if they know that there is a physical store present. It builds confidence in the brand as the consumer has something in front of his/her eyes to actually see and believe in.
Fit n Feel
In the age of technology, many customers still like to try the product and feel the quality before buying. It is one of the major drawbacks for an online company. Products like Furniture, Lingerie, perfumes etc. are something, which people prefer to test and try before buying.
Experts feel that 90 per cent of the consumers shopping for apparels, accessories, shoes or furniture still prefer to buy after trying the products and hence the conversion is 50 per cent higher in offline vis-à-vis online.
Customers surfing online have a short attention span. They tend to multitask while shopping, thus may often skip or lose interest in the brand while shopping. Customers may also shift their loyalty towards portals that give better discounts, which is not the case with offline. Offline stores are a compelling one, and the customers will have their focus on a single brand only. People who enter physical shops are much more likely to purchase one item than those who visit websites.
One cannot deny the importance of human resources in a retail space. Offline space is way more engaging and personalized than an online one simply because of the human factor. A skilled salesperson can convince you better than an algorithm any day. Moreover, the queries raised by the customers are answered instantly.