Would you prefer to browse the web and buy it online? Or will you go to a store to make your purchase?
Let’s be honest! Since the dawn of e-commerce, assumptions have been made as to why people prefer online vs. in store shopping, and vice-versa. Despite the hype around e-commerce and online shopping, consumers still look to shop in the physical store. Why? Today’s consumers have become accustomed to doing their research to get the maximum value out of every euro they spend, and to feel secure about the purchases they are making. Greek target group tends to check the product online and then to appreciate the in-store experience. Based on surveys Greek shoppers have greater proximity to physical stores.
Although, those that use tools and insights from the web have the opportunity to close the gap between the smart online consumer and the offline retailer, and to stand out in a competitive marketplace using Smartbuy Platform and App respectively. When shoppers search for a store name or category, they expect to see a map with directions, a phone number that they can easily click-to-call, or special offers that match their location and time of day. Without a doubt, adopting Smartbuy retailers can deliver a personalized experience and relevant suggestions, increasing stores sales.
Yesterday we were listening to a talk given by researchers from HUI Research, which made us think (and gave inspiration to this blog post). The talk was about how the future looks like for retailing – something that is very important for us to consider. We use the Internet to do reserach prior to shopping, even if we would make the actual purchase in a physical store (also called webrooming). This of course puts a lot of pressure on smaller shops and service providers because it is CRUCIAL to be visible in the channels the consumers are using. Why? Well “out of sight, out of mind”.
It is important to consider that consumers today have access to both information and products via the Internet, which is why transparency is key. Customers compare prices, and so should you. But it is not always possible to match the prices of low price shops online which is why you must find something else that delivers value to the customer. And there is one major thing that is very difficult to get through a mobile phone or a computer – personal and personlized service. It is the actual interaction between people, creating a relationship to the customers that can differentiate you from the (online) competitors.
But remember, your customers are online, make sure you are too. It does not have to be time consuming and complicated – just be SMART about it!