The e-commerce industry is continuously growing, marking a 9.2% growth in the year 2016, as measured by Shopping.fm. Despite the increased noise about online stores, brick and mortar shops continue performing much better. Last year, the number of sales offline were 10 times more than online sales. Clearly, customers still prefer the traditional means of shopping.
This is not the only reason why we believe that brick and mortar stores will ultimately remain the more popular option. In fact, they have many intrinsic advantages over their online competition. Here are a few of them:
1)Get to Experience the Products
56% of customers prefer offline stores because of the ability to see and touch the products first hand. When purchasing an item offline, e.g a dress, one can check the material and see the actual fitting before purchasing.
2) Shipping Process and Costs
A total of 34% of customers shop in brick and mortar stores due to the lack of delivery time and the entertainment the shopping experience provides. Shoppers can go home with their purchases as opposed to online stores where deliveries may take up to a week. On top of that, delivery charges increase the total cost of an item purchased online. 25% of shoppers prefer shopping in offline stores only to avoid these extra fees.
3) Returns Policy
One of the major problems online shoppers encounter is returns. When an item does not meet your expectations either in size or color, or it is damaged during shipping, the return process is often very complicated. Returning a purchase to a brick and mortar shop typically requires you to show the receipt of the item and nothing more.
4) Recommendation from the Sales Staff
Offline stores give customers the added advantage of being able to interact with the sales team directly. An experienced sales assistant can provide alternative solutions and expert advice, which is especially valuable when you shop items you are not particularly familiar with like, say, tech gadgets or trekking gear.
A Nerd Geo-Scientist, I am Internet Power User, Graphic Designer, WordPressor & Best Of All Founder of NerdsHD Where I share Interesting & Useful Stuff For Like Minded People.