Few years back when online merchant services started gaining traction, there were a whole bunch of skeptics and naysayers who out rightly predicted failure. But today, we have reached an era where more and more old fashioned brick and mortar retail stores are setting up their online stores in hopes of catching up with today’s extremely tech savvy consumers who are equipped with powerful personal gadgets (iPhones, iPads, Android smartphones and tablets) and have easy access to high speed and very reliable 3G, 4G and LTE broadband connections. With tons of great and free eCommerce apps at their disposal, these modern day consumers can shop anything that is available for sales, online from anywhere and at anytime, with ease and convenience that physical stores never offered before.
Online Shopping Vs Physical Stores
Online shopping has become so much convenient because the online stores are so easy to use, offer a vast range of selection, and unlike their physical counterparts, online retail merchants are open round the clock and 24×7. As a result, for the online shoppers there is absolutely no need to wait until the stores open in the morning to shop since online stores are open seven days a week, 24 hours a day. The consumer can shop from the comfort of their own home while wearing their favorite jumpsuits and watching their favorite sports on their smart television.
Just looking up the name of the product you are looking for in a search engine will return several matches at different online stores, thus making finding items very easy and convenient for the consumer. As a matter of fact, shopping online lets the shopper to browse through a number of stores simultaneously, thus allowing them to quickly compare and find the best deal available. The virtual shopping experience is identical to the in-store shopping experience, except that browsing and searching for your product online is lot more easier and saves time.
On the other hand, while all these indicate in a way that online shopping is lot more preferable to today’s consumers than in-store shopping, the reality is that, a sharp drop in online customer satisfaction and enhanced service and higher discounts at physical stores has balanced the playing field between the two retail channels, according to a new study.
There are certain things that need to be purchased in person. Other potential reasons to shop directly from bricks and mortar stores include supposedly better service, immediate delivery, and a sense of ease of returns.
Having said that, heavy discounts in itself is not necessarily associated with weak customer satisfaction though. Despite the overall increase in customer satisfaction at physical stores, rapidly diminishing foot traffic at shopping malls, along with a sudden and constant surge in shopping via mobile phones and tablets by modern shoppers indicates that consumers are increasingly adopting the conveniences of online commerce.
At the end of the day, making online purchases is highly convenient and saves time. The shopper doesn’t have to be a genius to spot the advantages in making purchases online. Granted, that you may need to wait for a couple of days to receive the product and in certain cases there might be a shipping cost too, but you’re saving a lot of time by not going out, standing in the queue and comparing it hopping from store to store.
If the product available in the online stores is the same but cheaper than what the shopper can find in a local store, the local store will lose. Online shopping is simply progress in the right direction that technology has enabled us today. Once somebody said, “You should not try and fight against progress.” Online shopping has proven to be a more convenient and less expensive method to shop with usually a better selection to choose from and other relevant information like spec sheets and test results, which are often more reliable than what you’ll get from a typical sales person in the store.
How do you prefer shopping these days? From online stores or local best buy store from the friendly sales guy? Let us know your preferences.