We've all become experts at online shopping during lockdowns and elevated alert levels, and of course, the convenience of shopping this way has stuck with us. Does this mean the end for bricks and mortar stores?
We don’t believe so; in fact, the numbers show we can’t wait to get back instore.
A survey in March 2021 showed most Kiwi shoppers still prefer to shop in-store. This was particularly true when it came to shopping for groceries (78%), furniture (75%), home improvement tools (80%), personal care products (69%), and clothing (64%), with just over half preferring to shop in-store for beauty products (55%) and electronics (59%).
Although there are benefits of online shopping, less than half (40%) of those surveyed enjoy shopping online. It’s the real-life experiences they’ve missed the most, such as hand-selecting items (76%), trying things on (66%), testing items before buying them (53%), and face-to-face customer service (50%).
We also miss the in-person interaction that a shopping trip provides. There is a great joy in the conversation and customer service experienced in-store. Impossible to replicate on an online platform.
Shopping in a store is no longer driven by necessity, so going forward, the idea of the retail store’s purpose may change. While it once existed strictly as a place to transact changes, retail stores have started leveraging experiences to customers rather than just products.
To keep our customers returning to stores, we do need to ensure the experience is a good one, every time.
Customer service must be excellent; in fact, the entire shopping trip should be something they want to tell friends about. In-store events, well-merchandised stores, and even creating photo opportunities to help your customers share your store with others can all build this experience.