Social commerce – is it the next big thing? Internet Retailer Conference and Exhibition 2014

Bridging the Gap: eCommerce & Physical Store

The growth of online shopping has been dramatic and ably aided by the advent of smartphones and tablets. Some of the reasons that make online shopping immensely convenient are – ability to shop and purchase from home, evade traffic snarls, long checkout queues and so on.

However, a brick and mortar store is able to draw customers by making every purchase a pleasurable experience. For example, the store’s interiors can be changed to promote seasonal collections and holidays. Helpful staff and leisurely trials help a customer feel at ease and come back for more. Plus the added benefits of touch and feel cannot be underestimated.

To bridge the gap between physical shopping and online shopping, companies are analyzing customer feedback to roll out new initiatives. Let’s take a look at some unique ideas that are a step in the right direction:

  • Same day delivery – Physical stores provide customers the satisfaction of going home with their product post payment. To recreate the same, online stores now offer same day delivery which could just be a matter of hours from the time of placing order.
  • Virtual Trials – Online retailers now offer users the ability try out a product virtually. The process is simple; a potential shopper uploads his/her picture. The software then allows you to try out products and choose the best product.
  • Innovative measurement – Retailers have devised simple methods of measuring size by using everyday objects. For ex: a popular optics retailer instructs customers to use a credit card to measure lens size.
  • At Home Trials – This feature not only mimics the real shopping experience but goes a step further! A shopper selects a number of products and orders them home for a trial before he makes his final choice. The shopper is able to look at, feel and try – all in the comfort of his home!
  • Product Customization – Online retailers now allow customers to order home a tailor, who will take your measurements, understand your choice of design and sew your product just for you. This highly convenient service allows you to experience a couture store at your beck and call.

With cut-throat competition, innovation in the eCommerce business has taken on an interesting turn and will be worth watching out for as companies’ battle it out to gain and retain customer loyalty.

Feel free to leave a comment if you would like to share ideas that you think will give online retailers an edge over brick-and mortar shops.

Comments are closed.