Is Online Shopping eating offline Retail Stores?

We are online 24*7, whether we are at work, at home, or on vacation. We use the internet to shop, watch movies, play games, work, win money, invest, and so on, and it has become ingrained in us. 

As a result, it’s only natural for businesses to go online to enhance their production, sales, and profits. Many online retail stores are taking over the market and the world, with no one preferring to buy anything from retail stores except in an emergency and in local markets.

Traditional brick-and-mortar clothes businesses, according to reports, appear to be fighting a losing battle against the e-commerce onslaught. More than 75% of consumers purchase online at least once every month. 42% of holiday consumers do their research and purchase online, while 23% do so in-store.

The offline stores are getting affected a lot and thus they are also opting for the online e-commerce services as well. 

  • eCommerce is unquestionably a threat to well-organized stores like Big Bazaar. Their revenues are decreasing, as are their store additions. These companies have launched their own online channel to compete with eCommerce players, but discounting is a problem because organised players do not offer the same enormous discounts as eCommerce businesses (Amazon, Flipkart) to avoid differential pricing between their storefronts and web-based stores.
  • Amazon assists small businesses in marketing their products on the internet with high visibility and revenue. However, the internet behemoths eventually pressurise shops to decrease prices (reducing profit margins) by any means necessary! That’s when they start to feel trapped!

Offline vs Online:

Offline retail stores:

  1. People pass past the merchandise.
  2. They have a say in what they desire. 
  3. They bargain for a price.
  4. The merchandise is properly wrapped.
  5. Whether or not to include a receipt.

For a pleasant customer experience, however, some customers prefer the brick and mortar stores. Price isn’t always the most important factor. People are willing to forego a few rupees in exchange for a more personalised, trustworthy, and polite service experience.

Retail Stores on the Internet:

  1. Customers discover the website in some way. (Google search, advertising, content, a recommendation from a friend, and a slew of other possibilities).
  2. Look through the menus.
  3. Select the category that they require.
  4. Look over the products
  5. They like what they want to buy, therefore they put it in their basket.
  6. Go to your shopping cart and click “Buy.” 
  7. Enter your full name, email address, phone number, billing address, delivery address, and credit card information.
  8. Pick a delivery method.

The product will reach within days after going through several processes. Let’s not forget that a small percentage of the population refuses to share their personal information online.

Why people are opting for online shopping:

  • Online retailers have a large selection and variety of products. Physical stores, on the other hand, have a limited amount of inventory. They only keep the items that are popular and sell well.
  • Another reason people prefer online buying is the convenience of not having to go to stores. You don’t need to get ready, travel to the local market, or go to several places to find the goods you want. 40% of shoppers say it saves them time, which is why they shop online. Around 58 per cent of shoppers prefer to shop online because it is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • The availability of a diverse selection of products available at discount rates with coupons. 
  • You buy or keep it on the wishlist, at your convenience. No pressure from the salesperson to buy the product. People even window shop to make themselves happy.
  • When buying underwear and lingerie, condoms, intimate products, sex toys, and other items, online shopping saves you time and avoids humiliation.
  • Replacement and refund of products are straightforward and do not incur additional costs or effort. For a limited period, online purchasing products come with a replacement warranty.
  • Customers can examine the actual review and authentic images of the product, as well as acquire all the information they need about it.
  • The majority of us despise crowds and long lines at checkout counters. During busy hours, automobile parking may become a challenge.
  • Shoppers can also order things that aren’t generally available in their local market or even in their own countries and have them delivered to their homes.

For offline retailers, digital commerce is increasing sales and profitability. However, there is one problem with offline stores wanting to join eCommerce:

  • The only disadvantage for sellers is learning how to set up and optimise an online business. That is where people fall short. Because the processes in the online version of a business are so different, most retailers believe it isn’t their cup of tea!

My experience:
I only buy something from an offline store if I need something right away and can’t wait 4 to 5 days for it to arrive. Plus, I know that buying from these offline businesses is more expensive than buying from internet stores.

So, while both online and offline retail stores are flourishing, online stores are progressively taking over as customers become lazier.

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