Thinking That the In-Store Experience is a Thing of the Past? Think Again!

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Clothing, car parts, furniture, groceries….we have access to practically anything through the world of online shopping. Do you ever find yourself browsing online to ensure that you are getting the best deal? You might be surprised to know that the majority of consumers still prefer the in-store shopping experience compared to online shopping.

I know! We were just as surprised as you are! Let’s dive into the details and what this means to you as an advertiser.

It’s a common misconception that due to the convenience of it, online shopping has become the preferred choice of consumers. Research indicates that shoppers still prefer the in-store experience. One study (by TimeTrade) indicated that 85% of consumers say they prefer to shop in-store. As a consumer, do you fit into this percentage? What drives you to the store? Is it the avoidance of shipping and handling fees? Is it because you like to have the item immediately? Or perhaps it’s because you like to test an item out in person before you make your purchase.

Another misconception is that Millenials prefer to shop online. However it has been proven that they are just as likely to head to the store as prior generations. Now that smartphones are a society standard, you can often find shoppers comparing prices from inside the store, before heading to the checkout. A study (by nchannel) stated that two thirds of in-store shoppers will check prices on their phone before making a purchase.

Shopping is more than just “buying” products or services. There are emotional aspects that come into play compared to online shopping. For example, shopping can involve spending an afternoon with family and friends or an opportunity to better oneself. Plus there’s the whole concept of instant gratification; another appealing factor in shopping within an establishment. Merchants and other business owners must strive to recognize what drives customers through their doors and build a marketing message accordingly.

Knowing that customers still prefer to shop from inside an establishment, what does this mean to you as business owners and advertisers? It’s important to keep in mind that those who visit your business are often looking for not just a product or service, but an overall experience. You must remind them why they need to visit your business. What makes your company stand out among the mix? It’s important to know what your customer wants and needs and then to send them constant messages and reminders through modern advertising.

It’s important to realize just how important the internet is in a consumer’s path to make a purchase. Websites such as Amazon have become research tools. Digital marketing and social media are key aspects of your marketing plan. These options allow you to go after your target customer and constantly remind them of why they should utilize your business. Keep in mind that three out of four customers are more likely to visit your store if your online info is useful (nchannel).

If you think online shopping has replaced the in-store experience, think again! The real question is, what are you doing online to drive in-store traffic?

 

 

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