Where Offline Trumps E-commerce
M-commerce is the new e-commerce. This isn’t exactly news, of course, but what IS interesting is how many consumers still prefer brick-and-mortar, and more importantly, why.
According to eMarketer, mobile shopping increased in the last quarter of 2017 by a solid 40%, and is expected to grow by more than 30% this year. Yet there are a number of areas where offline trumps online, resulting in new store openings and massive remodels.
It’s About Time
Unless a shopper gets same-day delivery, waiting for an order to arrive remains a consumer pain point.
Basically, shoppers want stuff and they want it now!
How You Doin’?
There’s also an emotional element. The feeling of walking out of a store with a bag of new clothes – well, you just can’t compare that to waiting 5-7 days for delivery. It’s the feeling that puts a spring in your step and a little smile on your face.
Help, I Need Somebody!
We all need a little help sometimes, whether it’s to get the right size while you’re in a fitting room trying on a great pair of jeans, or comparing slight differences in color on some throw pillows. Whatever it is, there’s just no substitute for personal service. It’s simply not the same on a screen, no matter how sophisticated a chat bot or AI tool may be.
As retailers’ exchange and return policies have evolved with pre-printed shipping labels and other improvements, it still takes time. A consumer must be home for pickup and wait for the retailer to receive the item back and issue a credit. Major players like LL Bean and even the behemoth that is Amazon have cut back on accepting returns.
Brick-and-mortar is the clear winner here. A shopper walks in to the store, makes the exchange or return, and presto! – it’s done.
Sometimes, simplicity is the answer.