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Tech It Easy

What Do Shoppers Prefer, Online Or In-store Shopping?

DEAN SAMMUT

September

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What does the world of retail look like? At the moment, it’s all about whether tech companies will dominate retail and wipe out brick and mortar retail companies. By tech companies we refer to big companies such as eBay and amazon which have based their e-commerce experience to an online platform integrated specialized and sophisticated analytics into their services. A battle between online and instore.


People will always require a marketplace where they can meet and experience shopping like we have done for centuries. The numbers show that e-commerce only hold 13.3% of the retail business, while brick and mortar retail still holds most of the sector, with a remarkable 86.7%. However, there is no battle or war between the two. We do not have to chose between one or the other. Through LS Retail, these can easily go hand in hand, and they have the possibility to enhance each other in many ways.



The instore customer wants personal attention; personal [pur-suh-nl] meaning relating to a person than to a group; and he expects personalised experience; personalised [pur-suh-nl-ahyz] meaning something that has been made for a particular person. According to Carrie Ask, who was President Global Retail for Levi Strauss & Co in 2018, stated that


“85% will leave the store if they do not receive personal attention. Because of e-commerce they also expect retailers to have a single profile on them making the service personalised”.


The customers want to be able to jump seamlessly from online to instore experiences. A very interesting twist: people experience more personalised service when shopping through digital devices from the face-to-face instore shopping. Due to online shopping customers are providing their personal details and specialised analytics are capturing their every move, click and what items are in their basket. Therefore, they will also expect that they have the same experience instore.


The online and instore shopping experience is not the same, but they can complement each other if they are seamlessly interconnected with each other. This is the task at hand. One of the challenges that e-commerce needs to solve is to lower the abandon rate; people fill a basket but do not check out because there are factors, such as shipping costs and delivery time, making the customer hesitate. With instore, this is less of a problem especially if the customer is provided with personal attention. For example, in fashion it's all about getting people to try on things. In e-commerce there are 2 senses which are used: vision and sound.



Instore, you are adding smell and touch. In hospitality the customer is using all his senses as taste is a key factor. Instore, the retailer has the chance to provide personal service and attention, making the customer feel appreciated and worthy.The new world of retail looks like this. Putting the customer in the middle; on one hand there is online shopping providing a personalised experience which is data driven and digital. On the other hand, there is instore shopping which is providing a personal experience to the customer. This is people driven, intimate and physical. Therefore, the customer expects a seamless shopping experience between the two shopping channels. The retail transactions are all stored in one unified database. These combined factors bring together online and instore shopping, providing a unified commerce; where personalised and personal meet.

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