Online shopping to more than double by 2016: Study
Online shopping to more than double by 2016: Study
Mumbai: Online shopping by urban consumers will more than double over the next two years in the country to 14% from 6% last year, says a Boston Consultancy Group report.
 
According to the BCG digital influence study 2013-14, online shopping is expected to rise to 14% by 2016 from 6% in 2013. It also said already 25% of travel and tourism-related sales are digitally driven in the country currently.
 
Digital influence is rapidly expanding to small urban towns and rural areas, as the number of mobile users have increased. More than 34% of total Internet users in the country are from small towns, while 25% are from rural areas.
 
Of the total urban Internet users, around 57% are of 25 and above, and 45% use only their mobile devices to access the Internet.
 
The study also said by 2016, the urban Internet user base would rise to 47% from 28% in 2013.
 
According to the report, discounts are not the only driving force for people to switch to online shopping, as was previously thought, but factors like convenience and access to wider assortment is also largely influencing shopping decisions.
 
Giving a snapshot of the key sectors driving online shopping, the report said the airline ticketing led the chart with 25% of sales being completed online last year, while the same stood at 6% in regard to cars, though 32% searched online before buying. However, only 8% of the mobile/PC sales were online during the same period.
 
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Differences Between Store Retail and Non-Store Retail
Differences Between Store Retail and Non-Store Retail
 

In today's dynamic retail environment, understanding the nuances between store retail and non-store retail is crucial for entrepreneurs and business owners. These two retail models cater to different customer needs and preferences, shaping the way we think about shopping and commerce.

Store Retail: The Traditional Touchpoint

Store retail, often synonymous with brick-and-mortar stores, offers a tangible shopping experience. Customers value the sensory engagement – the ability to touch, feel, and try products. This model thrives on personal interaction and immediate gratification. A customer in Chennai shared, "I prefer store shopping for clothes, as I can try them on for the perfect fit." Indeed, a 2023 survey revealed that 65% of shoppers prefer buying certain items in-store due to these factors.

Moreover, store retail supports the local economy. Small businesses and retailers form the backbone of communities, offering personalized services. A study by the Retailers Association of India highlighted that small retail businesses contribute significantly to local employment, accounting for about 10% of the workforce.

Non-Store Retail: The Convenience Revolution

On the flip side, non-store retail, which includes online shopping, direct selling, and telemarketing, has transformed the retail landscape. The ease of shopping from anywhere at any time is its biggest allure. A Bengaluru-based entrepreneur mentioned, "Online shopping has been a game changer for my business, allowing me to reach customers nationwide."

Statistics reinforce this trend. In 2023, e-commerce in India saw a 30% growth, indicating a shift in consumer behavior. This model also offers wider selections and competitive pricing, driven by lower overhead costs.

Balancing Both Worlds

For businesses, the key is in balancing both models. A hybrid approach caters to diverse customer preferences. An innovative example is a Mumbai retailer who integrated QR codes in their physical store, enabling customers to scan and learn more about products online.

Comparative Overview of Store vs. Non-Store Retail

Here's a tabular comparison highlighting key differences:

Aspect Store Retail Non-Store Retail
Customer Experience Sensory engagement, personal interaction, immediate gratification. Shopping from anywhere, anytime convenience.
Economic Contribution Contributes to local employment (approx. 10% of workforce in India). Rapid growth (30% increase in e-commerce in India, 2023).
Product Interaction Ability to touch, feel, and try products. Often relies on product descriptions and reviews.
Customer Preference Preferred for certain items (65% of shoppers for clothes, as per 2023 survey). Increasingly popular for a wide range of products.
Business Model Requires physical space, higher overhead costs. Lower overhead costs, wider reach.
Local Impact Supports local economy, community-centric. Less direct local economic impact, but broader market access.
Adaptation Innovating with technology integration (e.g., in-store QR codes). Continuously evolving platforms and delivery methods.

In summary, the retail terrain is characterized by the unique yet harmonious functions of store-based and non-store retailing. Store retail, celebrated for its tactile experience and instant satisfaction, remains a favored choice for many shoppers, especially for items where physical interaction is key. Conversely, non-store retail has transformed the way we shop through its unparalleled ease and extensive scope, propelled by the expansion of digital platforms.

 

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