For a while, there was a big divide between the online and offline shopping experiences. For instance, offline shopping provided a personal touch, while online shopping offered the convenience. As time has gone on however, these two modes of shopping have started to merge, providing more options for consumers.
How Offline Shopping Changed
It took a long time for brick and mortar stores to catch up to modern times, but they’ve finally started to do it. More stores are now focusing on convenience, knowing that they must compete with online stores. For example, many stores now allow you to browse their inventory online, and then come pick up the item in-store. This can save customers time, since they don’t have to wait for the item to ship to their home, but they also don’t have to drive somewhere just to discover a store doesn’t have what they’re looking for.
Many brick and mortar stores also offer features like automated checkout, something that is standard with online shopping. For people who just want to get in and out quickly, this is a huge benefit. Other stores have offered tech features in fitting rooms. Offline stores have taken some of the biggest draws of online shopping – namely, the convenience and speed – and worked to add these features to their own stores.
How Online Shopping Changed
Of course, it wasn’t just offline shopping that adopted. While online shopping offered a wide range of benefits, it couldn’t do everything that offline shopping could. There was no ability to talk to someone about the product or try it out before purchasing. Now, however, more online stores are working to add features like this.
For example, Amazon now allows you to try on clothes before paying for them. Many websites also offer live chat applications, so you can talk to someone right away if you have a question.
Another obvious sign is the growth of pop-up stores. Many online businesses are aware that they can’t connect with their customers as well by only using the internet, so they lease a pop-up store. Pop-up stores are temporary spaces where a business can sell their product and engage with potential customers. Since there are no long-term lease requirements, and the costs are lower, online businesses get the benefits of an offline store, without the risks.
How Will Offline and Online Stores Continue to Merge?
If this trend continues, it’s likely that these two modes of shopping will only become more similar. Maybe each and every store will have their own website you can shop from, or online stores will make it easier for you to try out products or connect with the sales team. One thing is for certain, however – while there used to be a divide, this is no longer the case.
To learn more about pop-up stores and how they can expand your business, contact Westfield leasing for more information.