On-line and/or off-line retailing?

Ronald van het Hof • 18 February 2021

India's retail is at a cross road. COVID-19 has pushed a lot of customers towards on-line shopping. A trend which was already going on in Europe, but even there it has accelerated in the past year. Of course, on-line creates a lot of opportunities in reaching out to domestic and international customers. On the other hand, customers get stressed of the overload of online vendors. Because everybody is selling online these days. With so much choice available, your challenge - as a retailer - is how to create loyal customers. Loyalty on-line is just one click away...

That's why the brick and mortar stores remain very important. We are all human beings, born with senses like touch, feel, smell, taste, etc. The place to use those senses is still the physical shop. That's why physical shops need to transform from "transaction place" to "inspiration and brand experience", to inspire customers and make them loyal to your brand.

If you transform your physical store into a showroom and create the customer experience so your customer can be 'wowed' by your brand and the customer friendliness of your store team. Of course, your customers can buy direct from your store. But they should also be able to order online - in your own store! - in case you do not have the right color or the right size in stock in your store. And have it delivered at home the earliest. 

Make sure that your customer gets the same brand experience at home as in your store. Wrap the online ordered product carefully, do not forget the sustainability aspect, add a nice handwritten thank you note, and keep the company brand visible at all time

The winners of the future will be those who can create convenience at any step in the customer journey, be it on-line or off-line. So I agree with the conclusion in the article in the link below: that on-line and technology enabled shopping is the way forward but the brick and mortar stores will survive … and thrive! But in another capacity...