The Slow Death of Offline Retail – Seven Reasons It Just Ain’t So
Not only is the pending death of offline retail a lie, it is a shameful one at that. Physical stores are here to stay and the industry should be embracing them for what they can provide, over and above simply the exchange of goods for a fee. Don’t believe me? Here are seven reasons why you should.
1. Online Retail Represents under 15% of Total Retail Purchases
It’s true. Online retail may be huge, but it has a very long way to to go to take over from physical stores. Around 90% of all retail purchases today are still made in a physical store.
2. Online Retailers are Procuring Offline Stores
Online retailers have realized that an offline store increases the chances of a sale, in addition to easing several aspects of the value chain. So, those who can, establish offline stores on the ground. These retailers are referred to as “omni-channel”.
3. The Generation Gap
If millennials went full force ahead in their embrace of online and all it had to offer, “Generation Z” – the next generation coming up – are dialing it back. They want a physical experience – something sensory, memorable and tangible.
4. The Customer Experience
Physical stores are providing a holistic experience for the buyer – not only for those who prefer to try-and-buy, but also for those who would like shopping to be more like what it used to be – an experience.
5. The Human Experience
Online may be more convenient, but it is also more anonymous and more solistic. The offline experience provides a human face, not just for the sales process, but also for that grey area of stylism and decision making – does it suit me? will it look good with these shoes? The offline seller provides human interaction in an experience that is actually quite a personal one.
6. Combining an Online and Offline Shopping Experience
This may surprise some people. Statistics say that most people want to buy online, but prefer to pickup their product purchase in an offline store. This is also true of purchase returns. If a return needs to be made for whatever reason, the majority of consumers prefer to return a purchase to a physical store.
7. Changing your Mind about a Purchase
30% of all online purchases are returned. This number drops to around 10% in the offline retail world. Why? Because customers are nearer to the product: they can try it, feel it, hold it and examine it.The offline store eliminates most risk of return at the time of purchase. Having said that, if you do change your mind, returning is easy – the shop is right there. The salesperson may even remember you and bring you something else to try on instead.
Want to hear OtailO’s plan for online product returns? Let’s talk.