Take a minute to ponder over these questions
When was the last time you saw a website or an app that was drastically different from another?
What kind of emotions does shopping online evoke?
Do you feel better and safer having known where you shopped from?
Now, when you dwell upon these thoughts is when you realize the stark differences between online and offline shopping. Leading up to the key reasons why offline retail is still very relevant and will continue to remain so in the years to come
The key differentiation in offline retail is the in-store experience. Brick & mortar cleverly use this to distinguish themselves from their competitors. Be it smiling and seemingly indulgent storekeepers, window displays, store ambiance, or even billing processes and after sales services, all these small elements have the ability to have an everlasting impact on us. The amalgamation of all these personal touch points delivered right, creates an unparalleled customer experience which is no match even against the largest offline giants. Each store in its own unique way attempts to provide the best customer service. Chatty & helpful shopkeepers in small stores, attractive & comforting large stores, loyalty programs, all of these are ways by which offline retail influence customers. With the advent of retail technology, offline stores are pushing the boundaries of customer satisfaction. Augmented reality, heightened personalization, Omni-channel approaches etc. are all being used to make the customer in-store experience as memorable as possible. There is no virtual substitute for this feeling.
Furthermore, the “what you see is what you get” is an integral part of shopping offline. As customers, you need to be able to see, touch and feel. Whether it is choosing the ripest fruit on a cart, finding the best fitting dress or picking an engagement ring, there is sheer joy in choice. There is delight in the “real” thing. How much can your virtual screens make you feel? The excitement at well embellished window displays? , The Adrenalin rush from having won a good haggle? , The pride in carrying shopping bags from your favorite stores? or even annoyance at the crowd? You go through a whole gamut of emotions and you feel something at the end of day. Your human side is certainly awakened. We go through our entire lives hooked to technology, but the human contact is necessary in some transactions of life, this happens to be just one of those.
The next time you pick up your phone or open a browser to buy something, think if you could instead buy it elsewhere, and buy it from a store near you? For purely selfish reasons, you DESERVE AN EXPERIENCE! You ought to be treated like royalty, use your purchasing “power” wisely, you deserve the kind words and impeccable service that only stores can offer you!
So, take it upon yourself to give yourself a little treat today and go shopping! Shop at a local store near you,eat at a restaurant instead of ordering in! Do whatever it takes & Live it up!