How does online selling differentiate to offline selling
Having an online shop does not mean you are replacing your high street store. Ok, Iif your store is costing you in overheads with little return then a move from offline to online is wise. But for most, online selling is just another avenue to offline. There is still a lot of value in high street stores, not just statistically with the revenue being higher than online, but also in behaviour. Despite the need to sometimes make life easier for ourselves, we still enjoy the experience of shopping on the high-street. When we have time, it’s a tradition that we often embrace – being able to touch and feel goods, trying on clothes and enjoying some of the shop’s attempts to keep shoppers engaged, whether it be great displays, music or freebies.
Online shopping differs greatly to this experience but it has some distinct advantages over high street shopping.
1. You can find products faster
If you are looking for something specific like gold trainers, it could take you hours to trawl around the shops trying to find what you had in mind. Online you can locate a list of products in minutes and order them in the time it would take you to look in one high street shop. The key with online is ensuring product pages are optimised for search.
2. You don’t have to queue
This is especially advantageous during busy periods like Christmas when queues can be horrendous. Less time queuing is more time spent shopping – or something else, if you’ve found your item online and bought it.
3. Easy purchasing
With online shopping there is no need to hunt around in your bag for cash or cards. At the click of a button you have made a purchase. And if it’s a familiar retailer that you use often, retailers may even hold encrypted payment details, making life even easier to shop.
4. The item gets delivered
No need for long walks back to the car laden with bags, your goods can be delivered straight to your door in just a few days. Rates may vary according to timescales, areas or delivery methods but often retailers offer a range of options to meet the varying needs of their customers.
5. Goods are often cheaper
The internet is a huge resource when it comes to researching, and online shopping is an area where this comes in handy. Shoppers nearly always have a budget in mind and hunting for products offline to meet their budget can be time consuming. One of the advantages of ecommerce is the visibility over price, meaning customers can grab a bargain. If you have offers on your products, the internet is a great place to advertise to maximise exposure.
Advancements in technology are making online shopping more and more like the high street shopping experience. Augmented reality (AR) enables users to virtually superimpose products into real-life scenarios so they can visualise what they look like. There is also an increase in machine learning and AI, as well as virtual assistants to best serve your shopping needs for a truly personalised shopping experience. This has made the online space a very exciting place to shop!