How online shopping is contributing to growth in brick-and-mortar stores
The technology-driven socio-economic transformation that was seen throughout 2020 has been instrumental in changing life in far-reaching ways. Exponential growth in e-commerce, online social interactions, remote working and e-learning has changed the social and economic fabric like never before. Google seems to have become people’s personal oracle – exploration, research and planning their purchases big and small – whether in the virtual or the actual world.
Although brick-and-mortar stores are turning out to be very hard business proposition, consolidating online presence has made retailers realize the immense potential of building bridges between online and offline retailing, because while customers do their research online, they often prefer to buy at a real store.
The last year has seen a sea-change in the worldwide buying patterns and quite a few of these changes are likely to persist and become permanent. An obvious and significant rise in the search for instantaneous information shows how carefully people are preparing for their store visits. Enquiries about store timings, delivery modes (home delivery, curbside-pickup or in-store pickup) and most of all stock information are most highly searched. Even before they step-out the customers are looking to ensure they find what they need.
The pandemic has significantly reduced people’s resistance to Online shopping. Almost 73% of people do not care where they shop, a significant rise over the 65% buyers before the pandemic. Even though the global health crisis increased the rate of growth in online sale and digital adoption – it is interesting to note that according to latest researches almost three-fourth of purchases will still be done offline.
Connect to all your customers – whether virtual or real
Several new concepts have now become default - curbside pickup, in- store delivery, queue-buster SOPs etc. Cash transactions also hit a real low with digital cash-less modes like UPI transfers, wallets, NEFT etc. rising to a never before high mark.
Local grocery stores across India adopted curbside pickup as the preferred mode of delivery with orders being received online or digitally. Even your favorite neighborhood paanwala went digital!
Even restaurants have given in to the rise in takeaway – delivery business so much that many a popular joint in India is thinking of giving up on the maintenance of high value overheads totally and concentrate solely on takeaway mode. They are assured of exponential growth in sales and profit margins as they tie-up with popular delivery apps. However, many eateries have also confirmed that the customer base has increased due to online or digital presence.
The ever-changing retail environment continues to change rapidly, and hopefully digital marketing mechanisms can help guide the revival. The direction 2021 would take is still unknown, however it is safe to assume, that the adoption of technology will benefit people and businesses getting ready for the changes to come.