Online retail saw impressive growth when Covid-19 began, with many people preferring to shop from home and avoid being in crowds where they could catch it. However, the novelty soon wore off for many shoppers as they realized that they enjoy the shopping experience as much as getting what they buy.
Therefore, as physical stores reopen and trading returns to pre-pandemic conditions, brick-and-mortar retail shops are expecting an influx of customers wanting to get back to business as usual. Here is why they are expected to outperform their retail counterparts:
Physical interaction with products
Customer psychology indicates that shoppers like interacting physically with products before buying them. They want to visit a store and search outlet mall near me to find local options on Malls Near Me’s directory. They want to feel a clothing item’s fabric, hold it up against themselves, and try it on before committing to a purchase. They want to test perfumes and cosmetics to see if they like them.
This tactile experience is impossible when shopping online. Since this physical interaction with products is such an intrinsic part of the retail experience, most shoppers are likely to return to physical stores when it becomes possible.
The retail experience
Traditionally, shopping is about much more than selecting an item and paying for it. It includes the excitement of going to a mall, looking at various shops for bargains, and doing some window shopping along the way. Shopping is a favorite pastime for many people, and the clinical nature of online shopping does not fulfill their needs.
A visit to a mall includes activities other than shopping, such as having a meal together or going to entertainment centers. Without such activities, many people will feel that they have not had the complete retail experience that physical shopping offers when they visit online stores.
There are times when customers are prepared to wait for it to be shipped to them. Typically, this occurs when they have managed to secure an online bargain that saved them a significant sum of money. Alternatively, if they cannot buy a product in a brick-and-mortar store locally, they shop online and wait for their product to arrive.
However, deep down, humans love instant gratification. Having paid for something, they want it in their possession right away. This need drives them to shop in physical stores so they can walk out with their product in their hands.
Avoiding shipping costs
Some online retailers offer free shipping, provided customers spend over a prescribed amount. If a purchase does not meet this requirement, the shipping cost a customer’s to bear.
When added to the purchase price, shipping costs could make a product more expensive than if customers bought it in a physical store. The convenience of having things shipped directly is great, but not if it will make purchasing something more costly.
Easier returns and exchanges
Few people read the terms and conditions for returns and exchanges for online stores. If they are dissatisfied with a product, the process of exchanging it or getting a refund can be time-consuming.
It means sending it back to the online retailer, which might be at a buyer’s expense. Additionally, many dissatisfied customers claim that speaking to someone from an online retailer in person is virtually impossible. It can take endless phone calls and email exchanges before they get the service they need.
Going to the physical store and reversing a transaction or swopping an item takes less time and energy. The transaction is over within a matter of minutes, and shoppers can go about their business again.