Despite of All The Hype and Reports of e-commerce Growth, Physical Purchases Continue to Outnumber Online Sales.

By : Mr. Arjun Bajaaj, CEO & Founder, Daiwa


There is no question that digital sales are booming. However, e-commerce still only accounts for a small percentage, indicating that brick-and-mortar retail is still the preferred form of purchasing for customers. There have been many rumours about the demise of brick-and-mortar stores, vastly overblown. Although e-commerce purchasing continues to develop fast, brick-and-mortar businesses continue to outperform online retail sites because many consumers still prefer the in-store shopping experience to see and try on things before making a purchase.

Many transactions nowadays entail both digital and physical viewing of goods. Often, a buy begins with online research followed by a visit to the shop to make a purchase, or a purchase may start with a consumer evaluating the object in-store but completing the purchase online. Furthermore, given the popularity of smartphones and other mobile devices, buyers may conduct internet research and pricing comparisons while in the store (known as “showrooming”).

However, some people still favour the brick-and-mortar format. Some of the primary reasons include physically contacting an item before purchasing it, especially with personal things or consumer durable goods. Rather than waiting for delivery, goods can be accessed instantly with retail stores. Customer Service also allows to speak with the salesperson directly, obtain further information, and advise them regarding items or services. Not to miss, consumers save money on shipping, too, further avoiding the inconvenience of returning a damaged or undesired purchase. In-store is far faster & easier than mailing it back to an online market. Before, only online retailers would provide several forms of payment, such as Google Pay, Paytm, or incentives to the online customer. However, as times change, even retail businesses are adjusting to digital payment innovations and giving loyalty points and membership perks that benefit consumers in various ways. Regarding the experience, many individuals love going shopping at retail outlets, typically with their spouses or friends and in connection with other activities such as dining, drinking speciality coffee, and so on.

In contrast to the offline presence, which is based on a personalized approach, most online retailers provide a “Speak with us” option, which, in most cases, requires the user to communicate with a virtual bot. People who purchase online are unlikely to come across a live person who can answer their questions. Even if you are able to connect with someone from the online business, your complaints will almost probably not be addressed promptly. Nothing surpasses in-person long-term client relationships or exceptional customer service. Customers appreciate a sense of familiarity. Customers will return if their first name greets them, have an excellent connection with sales employees, receive customized service, and feel that their demands are being satisfied.

Small businesses could capitalize on online and in-store shopping trends rather than grappling with a tiny adjustment in customer purchasing behaviour. Shopping experiences in-store—feeling and trying on products, taking in the sights and sounds of a store, even lugging a bag of newly acquired items to the car—are too valuable to be overlooked.

If one word defines brick-and-mortar retail in 2020 and 2021, it’s “adaptation”. Organizations that approach these subjects head-on will provide unparalleled value through in-store experiences. They’ll lead the way into brick-and-mortar’s bright future.