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At one point or the other, we have all had an online shopping experience. No doubts we all have a few tales to tell, whether good or better or maybe not. Fact still remains that there is this sense of ease that comes with shopping from the comfort of your own home, office or school. No queuing in lines or dragging grocery bags around. However, physical shops have remained just as much in business as online shops. You wonder why, when there seems to be an agreement that online shopping is easier? Well, let’s take a look at some stats.
We would first like to establish the fact that no matter how much online shopping appeals to our sense of comfort, just like every other thing, it has its pros and cons. Physical stores are certainly not left out either.
Retail search has shown that a lot of physical shoppers enjoy the tactile shopping experience, coupled with the fact that there are no ridiculous shipping fees attached and no fear of shipping damages. Also, one does not only test the goods for authenticity, but can always return them, on grounds that they are not up to the customer’s satisfaction.
However, despite the fact that physical stores have of all these incentives put in place, it has certainly not stopped the erratic growth of online stores, over the years. With more research, statista, showed that in USA alone, offline stores have a sales record 10x bigger than that of online sales. On the other side, online sales happen to move 3x faster than offline sales. Further more, in 2016, Online sales recorded a growth of about 12.2% with a net worth of $3.76B, while offline sales recorded a much smaller growth of 3.3% with a net worth of about $3B dollars.
In 2017, online sales once again took the lead, growing at a rate of 10.3%, with a $45B dollar value, while offline sales took the back seat, remaining at its former percentage with only a million dollars increase in value.
If these stats show anything at all, it is that regardless of how well offline stores are doing, online stores are doing just as well and even better.
Shop co, revealed that goods that are mostly shopped for online include appliances, men’s apparel, toys and games, kitchen equipment, baby wears, beauty products, tools and furnitures, etcetera. Basically stuffs that might be to heavy for transporting personally.
Above average of the total population in about 19 regions cutting across North and South America, England, Australia, Asia and the Carribeans seem to be more into offline stores than online stores. Although, some times, the expectations of customers are not exactly met when faced with reality- talking about credit card coupons, shopping lists, navigators and getting out of stock items, which are mostly available in online stores. However, physical retailers seem to cover these lapses in other areas. They ensure that their customers have swift ownership of items purchased. More so, they enable verification of authenticity of products and negotiations with a personnel for possible and favourable discounts.
Despite all of these, online shopping remains on the rise and it is only a matter of time before it takes over, completely. The availability of apps and shopping websites like amazon.com, jumia.com and the likes, have made it a walk in the park. With websites getting up to 83% traffic and apps, 58%, it is safe to say that there won’t be record of losses anytime soon.
Online stores are constantly upping their ante, with eCommerce being the latest right now. Daily, new strategies are being developed to boost the satisfactory online shopping experience. According to Brian Dhatt, CEO, Big Commerce, ‘mobile has become the primary shopping method for many online consumers and eCommerce brands are increasingly realizing mobile sites need greater prioritization’. It is for this reason that they have provided a native support for AMP to enable 55,000 merchants, upgrade new versions of their websites category and products detail pages, on mobile devices.
AMP removes extraneous details that distract shoppers from their goals. It provides access catalogs for shoppers, to easily get pieces of information and this helps them make the perfect purchase decisions. It also increases loading speeds, maximizes and optimizes better search engines and removes friction that occasionally accompanies online shopping. There is no denying the fact that this is about to change the whole online shopping game.
More of the pros that come with online shopping include no restrictive shopping hours- shoppers can shop 24/7, at any hour of the day. Unlike offline stores where they have closing amd opening hours so one might have to wait, before being able to make a purchase. Taking it further, online stores better help the shopper to compare prices, at the same time, offering a wide range of varieties at a cursory glance. It is considerably more convenient and there is always the toe-curling chance of free shipping. It saves time, fuel and energy. It also assists the shopper to make discrete purchases and helps curb impulsive buying.
Like earlier established, it is certainly not without a few cons of its own which include exorbitant shipping costs most times, difficulty in returning goods, and shipping distance which would cause the buyer to wait for a certain period of time before getting their money’s worth. There is also the fact of not being able to deal with a vendor, one on one. Lastly but certainly not the least, the issue of security cannot be overlooked either, especially with cyber crimes on the high side.
For more information and statistics regarding online shopping vs offline shopping, you can take a look at the infographics on Love shopping, online versus offline. In case you have been in a dilemma over this issue, we hope you now know which team to root for. Online or Offline.
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