In-store shopping vs online shopping is a debate that has become increasingly popular in recent years. According to eCommerce statistics, online shopping has been steadily increasing over the last few years. This is primarily due to the prevalent use of smartphones and internet services.
Some people, however, prefer to visit retailers in person while making a purchase. In some instances, shoppers will even conduct online research before making the final purchase in-store.
What do the futures of in-store vs. online shopping look like for customers in light of all of these scenarios? What benefits do they have? This article covers everything.
Customers’ Online Shopping Preferences
Online shopping has given shoppers of all ages a myriad of reasons to turn to the web to find their favorite products. This is due to the variety of products available, its contactless nature, and the ease it provides.
There are various reasons why people are transitioning to online shopping. Customers can shop at their leisure with 24/7 availability, allowing them to make purchases anytime they want.
Finally, online shopping enables those who have no transport or time to make purchases. It even motivates people to buy more than they would normally do in the store.
Benefits of Online Shopping
The benefits of online buying are hard to dispute. After all, having access to extensive online research and reviews boosts buyer confidence. Few would argue against the convenience of 24-hour shopping from the comfort of one’s living room sofa. Highlighted below are the benefits of online shopping:
Online Grocery Shopping
Everyone needs to buy food, but the COVID-19 pandemic has expedited the transition to online grocery shopping. The perks are obvious, especially for those who may find it difficult to find an hour or more per week to browse the grocery store shelves. You will not only fill your cart from the comfort of your own home, but you can also speed things up by saving common items in your app.
No Sales Pressure
While sales professionals can give useful knowledge and expertise, they can also make some in-person shopping experiences stressful for customers. It’s no wonder that some people prefer to avoid the pressure entirely by buying online, where they can take their time and not feel pressured into a sale by someone working on commission.
Research and Customer Review
The internet is an excellent resource for researching and comparing products before making a major purchase. Blogs and other web publications from reputable, unbiased sources can help you save time and money by testing products, outlining the benefits and drawbacks of various brands, and comparing prices. Customer reviews are another excellent resource for choosing a reliable product that meets your requirements.
When comparing online shopping to in-store shopping, the convenience of online shopping easily wins. A shopping list that used to take a whole day to complete can now be done in a matter of hours owing to online shopping platforms. You may also go shopping whenever you have time, whether it’s during a 20-minute break at work or after the kids have gone to bed.
The Future of Online Shopping
According to eCommerce statistics, the online segment would account for nearly a quarter of total global retail sales by 2025. Hence, having an omnichannel retail strategy would be essential to provide your company with the resources it needs to succeed. This will assist you in increasing your customer base, revenue, and profit.
Customers’ In-Store Shopping Preferences
Shopping in-store is still highly popular today. Even though online shopping has become significantly more popular, most shoppers still make in-store purchases. This enables shoppers to take advantage of special discounts, cut shipping costs, and see the product before purchasing.
Moreover, some types of in-store purchases will never go away. These are businesses that offer in-person service, food and beverages, and a variety of other services.
Benefits of In-Store Shopping
Despite the numerous benefits of the internet, shopping in-store continues to have massive benefits and a significant place in retail. Some aspects of an in-person experience are unique, such as physically inspecting a product or speaking with a knowledgeable sales assistant. Let’s not forget the peace of mind that comes from knowing exactly what you’re getting when you walk out the door with your purchase. Nobody wants to be worried about the reliability and consistency of online order deliveries. So, whether it’s saving money on shipping or checking out clothes from their favorite store, in-store shoppers enjoy a plethora of benefits, including:
Support Local Businesses
One of the most compelling reasons to buy in-store is to support local businesses. Many people are willing to trade convenience and savings in order to support their local community. When you shop locally, you acquire more than just a product. You’re supporting the local economy.
Easily Test Products
Some items are easier to purchase if you can inspect them in person to assure quality. When it comes to clothing and cosmetics, stores allow you to test the items to ensure that they are perfect for you. Many products, from eyeglasses and mattresses to a new car, are well worth the additional time and effort to test before purchasing.
On a poorly designed website, removing items from your shopping cart can be a pain. In some cases, customers must leave their page to remove an item from their shopping cart. Shopping in stores eliminates this inconvenience because the shopper can physically remove the item.
A friendly and knowledgeable sales assistant, along with an up-close view of the products, gives a more personal shopping experience. This is especially common for local and specialized stores where you’ll probably speak with someone familiar with the products. Personal recommendations and expert advice can both be quite valuable.
The Future of In-Store Shopping
In-store shopping has a long way to go before it’s pushed away by online shopping. Most customers, however, begin with online research and then make an in-store purchase. This allows them to research the product and find the best deal before deciding to purchase it.
It appears that no matter what the future of in-person shopping looks like, there will always be an aspect of online shopping involved.
Despite growth in online shopping, most customers still prefer in-store shopping instead of online shopping for their final purchases. Thus, performing market research on how your customers purchase items is an effective way to gather insights. Using this target demographic can help your business save valuable time and resources by determining if they prefer online or in-store shopping.