How shopping has changed: Offline vs Online

online shopping

Online shopping has been increasing in leaps and bounds since the proliferation of the internet. These days, many consumers prefer shopping online to visiting physical stores and buying offline. Latest statistics point towards 80% of Americans over 15 years old who prefer online shopping. With the added convenience of mobile phones and tablets, many people are combining online shopping with research before visiting offline stores. Mobile devices effectively drive foot traffic into stores, as consumers check out products while out shopping. There’s little doubt that shopping has been entirely transformed over recent years.

Online Consumer Reviews

One of the most significant differences today is that people can research your products or services, compare prices and conditions, and the consumer is well armed with knowledge before buying a product. What’s more, they can check out online reviews by other consumers who may, or may not have had a good experience. While in the past they had to rely on reviews in magazines, periodicals and the newspapers. Now consumers can learn about the pros and cons before making a buying decision. Today consumers rely upon and trust online reviews more than ever, and they can make or break your business. An incredible 90% of consumers believe online reviews more than personal recommendations and as much as a family recommendation.

Shopping Malls are becoming obsolete

The 1980s and 90s saw the proliferation of shopping malls across the USA and Europe. By the 1990s their popularity started decreasing with the advent of online shopping. This trend continued throughout the following years, and today it has become commonplace with online shopping taking the lion’s share of buying customers. While today traditional shopping malls have been transformed into entertainment centres to compete with online shopping. Many malls and large shopping complexes organise events, live music and incorporate cinema complexes.

Holidays Don’t Exist Anymore

Holidays like Christmas and Good Friday used to mean no retail stores were open. Online shopping changed all that. Black Friday hours are pushed earlier into Thanksgiving with some stores opening on public holidays to compete with online sales.

Online Orders Delivered by Drones

Flying robots are populating the skies and drones have started delivering online shopping orders. Some companies promise to fulfil online orders quickly and in China, and Australia drone deliveries are commonplace. They are particularly useful for rural area and delivering medical supplies.

Always Connected

Both online and offline shopping is continually evolving and changing due to constant connectivity. The digital and in-store experiences have become blurred, and this has created some exciting opportunities that forward-thinking retailers can benefit from. By combining timeless retail truths with digital savvy, retailers can concentrate on what really matters, serving the customer more effectively. Moreover, savvy retailers are using online shopping to extend their storefronts and ultimately their sales, and they can deliver relevant and personal suggestions on a larger scale. The right message at the perfect moment is a new level in customer service that can quickly and easily turn intent into buying action. Consumers are always on the lookout for product information, good deals, local availability and online discounts. Retailers who are there to supply the correct information when consumers raise their virtual hand will reap the benefits of online sales.