Part 6 of 6 - Online Moves into the Real World

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Why do we love online stores so much?

When’s the last time you drove down to a brick and mortar store of your favorite brands to shop? Since the birth of the web, traditional brick-and-mortar retailers have been creating digital storefronts and web sales are growing far faster than anyone had imagined. Online stores are here to stay.

Ecommerce stores know that the online opportunity is big, but still 80% of transactions occur through offline sales. Online stores have now started to move from an online pure play perspective to physical retail space with pop-ups and networks of brick and mortar stores. This will develop physical presence and enhance customer fulfillment and enhance their shopping experience.

“Consumers will always want to touch and feel and experience a product before they purchase it”

E-commerce stores can start to adapt an omnichannel approach, and bridge the gap by adding a physical presence to enable customers to seamlessly convert on any channels.

Here are few “Try before you buy” online shopping scenarios:

Scenario 1

Digital stores can also make their physical presence in the form of a mobile van to be a pop-up store-on-the-go that will travel in the entire city. They can have few mobile vans in the city. Imagine a user is searching for a dress online and want to try it out before ordering. In this scenario, the ecommerce store should be able to access the location of the user and the mobile van can go to user’s doorstep. The user just have to get out of his home into the mobile van, try the garment and he/she can quickly buy the garment online from the app thus enhancing the shopping experience of the user.

Scenario 2

Imagine you are seeing a garment online and want to try it out before ordering and you clicked on map link to find the nearest location. Company sensed your intention and booked a cab for you to arrive at the store while the store manager is ready with the garment you want to try. He offers you an empty trial room. Now that the customer has tried the garment, he could go to the mobile app or site and just pay online. Bursting the queue he/she quickly gets into the waiting cab and off the customer goes FEELING HAPPY!

Scenario 3

It has become a norm for shoppers to conduct research online and use their smartphones in store. Imagine a user is skeptical about a product he is intending to buy online, he can walk into the brick and mortar store of the brand, check for all the features and each item has a QR barcode for him to scan with his smartphone, where the user will be directed to the same item in the digital store and into the regular buying process – including the wait by the courier for delivery.

Closing Notes on online stores

E-commerce stores can start to adapt an omnichannel approach, and bridge the gap by adding a physical presence to enable customers to seamlessly convert on any channels. Like these stores can use brick and mortar models for things they cannot do online such as trying on frames, conducting eye exams, trying for different sizes for the garments, designs for accessories, etc.

We believe the future of retail sits at the intersection of e-commerce and brick and mortar stores, and the goal of every retail business should be to provide a seamless integration on both these channels and no matter what channel a consumer uses, their shopping experience should be as fun and easy as possible.

What methods would you suggest for the online stores to enrich customers shopping experience? Share your ideas in the comments section below.