There’s drama brewing. E-commerce sites are fighting tooth and nail to scoop up brick-and-mortar consumers who have minimal or no access to physical stores during the pandemic. But the pandemic is merely an impetus to an already apparent shift to online purchases.
CONVENIENCE IS THE DEAL MAKER/BREAKER
Before we get into e-comm’s 3 biggest, most burdening hurdles, we have to address the champion of the online shift and its utter importance to everything: convenience.
83% of shoppers admit that convenience as a factor in shopping is more important than it was five years ago, according to an article written by a digital marketing specialist for Smart Insights.
Furthermore, 52% of consumers claimed that half or more of their purchases were influenced by the convenience related to that purchase. Let’s breakdown where convenience stands in terms of what matters most to shoppers. Then, we will take a look at how this pertains to the 3 biggest hurdles for e-comm *cue dramatic music*.
Graph by Smart Insights
While convenience ranks third in importance, it’s crucial to note that 97% of shoppers have backed out of a purchase because it wasn’t convenient for them. It’s a fickle reminder that an item in the cart isn't an item in the bag just yet.
Convenience is the headwinds thrusting e-commerce across choppy waters in the fight to take down brick-and-mortar. But there will be plenty of battles on the ocean of consumerism.
HURDLE #1: IN-STORE EXPERIENCE
At the tippity top of the list of what is most important when shopping is “highest quality item”. Of course, the more expensive and quality the item, the more likely someone is to purchase it in-store.
If convenience is online, so are convenience goods. These are products that don’t require much thought to pull the trigger on, such as: personal care items, groceries, smaller, replaceable electronics like cheap headphones, books, pet supplies, etc. There isn’t substantial risk in ordering these products online, because one generally understands what they are getting.
Luxury and fashion items differ immensely. This is where in-store experience matters. A shopper probably needs to touch the glossy leather surface of a purse, put it on her arm, twirl around a few times, and inspect each crevice and pocket before coughing up hundreds (or even thousands) of dollars for it.
In retail categories like fashion, a whopping 70% of purchases are still made in-store according to a vend.com post citing various industry statistics.
HURDLE #2: TRADITION
Consumers prefer to make luxury and costly purchases in-store for the obvious reason of having the physical item in front of them.
This same concept can be expanded to the larger idea that until online shops take firm hold of the market, people will traditionally think of physical stores as the de facto places to buy products and goods.
Human beings are terrible at managing change, at least initially. For many, taking the time to drive to a mall or retail store and browsing through aisles feels more comfortable than purchasing online and hoping the product is satisfactory.
This, of course, is shifting with convenience occupying more importance in the consumer’s journey.
HURDLE #3: PRICING
In recent years, some consumers have thought that prices were more competitive in local retailer stores than online. Savvy consumers will often compare prices everywhere and ask local retailers to match the best price they can find for an item.
Yet, this data has promptly shifted. A graph published by USA Today as part of an Adobe study on the prices of online vs. offline goods, shows an apparent skew toward cheaper online prices in a majority of categories.
Even the cost of shipping, which used to be a deterrent for online shoppers, does not hold the significance it once did. Especially under present circumstances in which paying for shipping is inconsequential compared to masking up and waiting in socially distanced lines that could add hours to a shopper’s experience.
LEAPING HURDLES WITH SHOPIFY TOOLS
We’ve said it a billion times; we will say it a billion more times. Experience and convenience are everything. Both in-store and online. Luckily, the nature of online has convenience built in.
It is up to each new online store to hand craft an experience worthy of sticking around. Because it takes a single click to pop over to someone else’s store and buy their products instead.
Shopify offers a toolbox so extensive, it’s less like being a one-stop-shop, and more like being a factory that invents the next useful online shop feature as soon as demand arises.
*Deep breath in*: Abandoned cart recovery, auto-calculated shipping prices, Shopify POS (Point-of-Sale), curated customer profiles, discount codes, gift cards, fulfillment and dropshipping services, and dazzling analytics and reports.
Whew, that was tiring. And those but a few of the features that amplify convenience, bolster pricing methods, and make the tradition of in-store buying seem exactly like the name suggests, an ancient tradition that belongs in the past.
Trying to sell online? Contact us and we’ll get you started in a jiffy.