The society’s shift from occasional online shopping, from those who weren’t afraid of the perceived consequences of doing so, to almost all of us doing the majority of our shopping over the Internet has been surprisingly rapid. Did this radical change come at a cost?
If you walk down any large main street you will undoubtedly see a number of closed and closed businesses. On some occasions this may be due to the continued impact of COVID-19, but the threat of online shopping has been a much bigger long-term problem for those with physical brick-and-mortar stores.
So why has online shopping been so popular, and is there anything retailers can do to turn the tide?
The benefits of shopping online
Internet shopping may have started as a progressive business, but the way each niche in the retail industry has adapted to life online has been unstoppable. There are many reasons why customers prefer to use their desktops and mobile devices, but these are perhaps the main ones.
Buying online is cheaper than buying from a physical store. This is pretty much the case in all types of stores, and the reasons why better prices are offered online are mainly due to the lower costs associated with running an online store compared to a store. in line.
In addition to the fact that individual items are cheaper, the online shopping industry has decided to offer better deals and promotions online, which makes the act much more accessible to shoppers.
How to buy online ? Most of us now freely visit online stores without having a specific item in mind, knowing that the weight of choice will provide opportunities worthy of our money.
The fact that online the number of outlets that we can visit is almost endless, as opposed to the number that is within walking distance or by car being quite small, makes it almost a given when it comes to choose between online and offline shopping.
It’s not just the fact that it’s easier to complete a purchase with a few clicks, than to travel long distances to and from a mall; it is also that online shopping sites have become accustomed to our needs and our shopping styles. This means that the act of buying online has evolved much faster than on Main Street, where the tactics to get you to buy are still very old.
Every item you need can be found in seconds
Some forms of shopping have been more fluid in terms of online activity, and others have taken longer to adjust.
Take, for example, buying glasses online, something that took a long time to become the “norm”, now you can shop for your rimless glasses in the safety of knowing that the glasses that arrive at your door will be the right one. good prescription strength. . If there are any issues, you know you have a return policy that gives you the peace of mind you need to shop safely and with confidence.
It’s not just that buying products online is now a daily reality; these are also services that users are happy to provide from the comfort of their own homes.
Just a few years ago, we never would have dreamed of having one-on-one meetings with our doctors, or even our therapists, online. Not to mention getting the results of important tests and other types of transactions that would previously have been deemed too personal to be done online.
We, as a people, have progressed at such a rate that there really is no turning back to the ways we used to purchase products and services.
Has the main street become complacent?
In a way, yes. The emergence of the Internet was always going to win this fight. Still, there were ways Main Street took its customers for granted – by raising prices in areas where there was little competition, allowing standards (in some cases) to slip due to the belief that shoppers would always come back.
Much of the main drag depended on footfall, how many people crowded into areas where stores were waiting for business, and frankly shoppers no longer have the time or intention to proceed with their shopping. pragmatically.
In many ways, the biggest mistake a street retailer can have made in recent years is to not move so much of their inventory and business model to an online model. Failure to do so will almost certainly have led to the collapse of any business that has not seen the tsunami of online shopping approaching.
Any store that has an offline presence will need to invest twice in its online assets just to make ends meet, while other retailers have chosen to shift entirely to internet shopping models.
Obviously this has had an effect on the employment prospects of those working in retail, but it is the by-product of a modal shift that cannot be reversed. The genie is out of the bottle of online shopping, and he’s not going back.
This article does not necessarily reflect the views of the editors or management of EconoTimes.