E-commerce is on the rise more than ever. Sales records are being broken year after year and users are increasingly used to buying from online shops.
All this makes us wonder: when making our purchases, should we choose online or physical shops?
Advantages of online shops
Above all, they have a pro that stands out. The eCommerce are much more practical as they allow shopping from home or even on the move while using a phone terminal.
In addition to that immediacy, an e-commerce also favors the ability to compare in a very simple way. We can do this with different products from the same shop or with other competitors.
We are not limited to the purchase of items from the same geographical environment or to a timetable. Thanks to the Internet we can buy a product from a manufacturer thousands of miles away with the obvious advantage of not having to travel to their shop.
Advantages of physical shops
They are not so modern or so practical but they have an important advantage and that is the tangibility of the objects. Technology does not allow us to know what a fabric looks like, the feel of the material a product is made of or how a garment feels (hence the phenomenon of showrooming and customers entering off-site shops to see a product they buy on)
The level of advice provided by the humane treatment. This can be matched over time, but at the moment there is no Internet shop that can replace a good salesperson. One of those who offer us alternatives and empathise with our role as a client
No technological knowledge is required. Sometimes many physical shops do not make the leap because they are not facing a new environment that they do not master. Here we can find good alternatives to create online shops without knowing anything about programming. They are content managers that work in a very simple and intuitive way, so this advantage is not so clear.
Or a mixed model?
Whenever possible it is best to always opt for a multi-channel model. This means understanding the shopping experience from a transversal point of view.
In the end, the channel used by the customer to close the purchase of a particular item is not as important as the ultimate fact of achieving a goal. We can say that there are fewer and fewer pure offline customers and, directly, there are no customers who are 100% online. The key is to understand this and provide shoppers with a consistent and complementary experience that uses all channels to generate conversion.
A good example of how online and retail shops work together is something that is increasingly being seen: the click and collect. Giving the user the ability to use the convenience of the web to browse, compare and buy over the internet and the immediacy of picking up the order in a physical shop on returning from work and without waiting for logistics.
What do you prefer online shops or physical shops? Tell us in the comments!