The Rise of Online Shopping

Online shopping is on the rise and many stores and malls across America are closing. Many factors contribute to consumers turning to online shopping, including saving time and money, especially since online shopping has gotten easier and more hassle free than ever before.

It used to be that you would have to wait a week to receive your online purchases and the cost to return it would not even be worth your time or money. Amazon has changed all of that with next day shipping and requiring their suppliers offer free returns. The easier it is for consumers to order online, try out the items and return them if they don’t like them, the more they will trust shopping online.

Pros and Cons

Moms do a lot of the shopping and, at times, it is very hard to leave the house with the little ones in tow. Online shopping makes for a great alternative for their shopping needs. They can also use their mobile devices when in a car line or watching soccer practice to get those shoes for school their child needed or even order groceries that will be delivered to their front door. Moms also like to use shopping apps and coupon apps to save money and receive alerts on the items they shop for the most.

Online, they can easily search different sites for the perfect item instead of driving to different stores. This ultimately saves time and money, but the one thing they miss is the in-store experience. Many women use shopping as a way to have social interaction with friends and with store employees. They enjoy asking others for opinions and the ability to see, touch, and feel the item. The appeal of shopping dresses in the store is also in the beautiful displays and looking at items that you didn’t know you were interested in. People spend 40% more than planned while in an actual store as opposed to only 25% more spent when shopping online. The other benefits to shopping in the store are that you take your items home immediately for instant gratification and you also can make easy returns at the store.

Store Strategy

Stores have been struggling to keep up with online shops since Amazon started 23 years ago, but things continue to get worse. Many large chain stores are closing their doors and selling online only. Stores need to find new reasons for people to shop in their stores, use promotions, demonstrations, and events to get them in the door.

Pricing is a little tricky and it is hard to price your online items like wigs, dresses, wedding veils etc.  The same as your in-store items because the overhead is higher in the store and you would never make money. Retailers should look at pricing like the airlines and Target does. They have different prices for different locations, and different prices depending on when an item is purchased. That being said, retailers should also always say yes if asked to match the price. Think of these times as a sort of coupon for these customers and all customers will not ask to price match.

The female demographic still mostly chooses the brick and mortar location as they love the touch and feel and social part of shopping. Males, along with young people, also love the instant gratification of shopping in a store. Online shopping is good for everyone with the time and cost savings and is expected to grow in the next few years, but nothing beats the old-fashioned shopping experience.

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