With the aggressive growth of markets in developed and developing economies, the retail markets encounter several changes in terms of investments and marketing channels for their products. While some are stuck to unfashionable brick-and-mortar stores, some retailers are entirely reliant on online channels only. However, the reality of sales lies somewhere in between the lines.
Any business looking forward to capturing the targeted audiences’ demand in an exact manner must opt for an omnichannel marketing strategy. This strategy allows the retailers to capture the market from all platforms, including - offline, on the internet, print media, etc. Omnichannel marketing is when a customer sells its products through a brick-and-mortar store, an online commercial store on social media like Instagram, or its webpage, thereby showcasing its offering through all the possible manners to the customers. Here, customers are not at any risk and can place orders with the firm after being satisfied with product quality. The omnichannel strategy alludes to retailers with both physical and virtual presence.
Why Do Customers Look for Products Online?
Convenience - Since everything is readily available anytime, there is so much convenience to the office-going generation to shop from a mobile phone. Also, the old aged people or kids who cannot go and shop outside in the markets find it comfortable to place an order at just a click.
Almost Everything is Available - While in an offline market, you need to be specific about where to go for a particular product, there is no such restriction in the online market. From clothes, shoes, bags to cooked food, uncooked vegetables, fruits to mobile phones, laptops, and other gadgets, almost everything is there on the web cloud. The customer needs not go anywhere.
Checking the Variety - If you go to a store and find a particular product out of stock, you can effortlessly search online and find where that product is available. Large retail firms are selling their products through their websites and other commercial portals where users can quickly lookout for their variety of products and select products they want to buy.
Then Why Are Customers Still Looking for Physical Stores?
Why does an e-commerce website face a decline in the number of users after a certain point in time?
There is no ‘touch and feel’ option available in many products that are sold online; this raises the concern of many buyers about the quality of the product being sold by an e-commerce platform. Moreover, many buyers want to try the clothes or shoes before buying them online. However, there are certain portals that allow for a ‘try-and-buy option as well; but not all provide this option. Buyers need to be sure of product quality and fit before buying a product. Then there are miscellaneous products apart from clothes and shoes. There are mobile phones, laptops, other gadgets like sound systems, etc. that many customers only check online but prefer to buy through a physical store only. Many people are also skeptical of buying jewelry online.
So, in all, not everything can be sold online through e-commerce channels. Retailing firms must lookout for a combination of marketing channels to foster the sales of their product and service offerings. A well-blent mix of both online and offline marketing channels will prove better in elevating the firm's overall sales.
A piece of take-home advice for both upcoming and already existing retailers is that they must create a strong online presence along with maintaining their traditional brick-and-mortar store to give an integrated shopping experience to the buyer. Consumers, before making a transaction think of changing the channel of purchase several times. Hence, to offer a seamless experience to customers, the brand must be aligned well with a mix of marketing strategies to ensure that the retail firm’s expansion goals are met well.