Five to seven years ago the world was coming to grips with the coming of the online age. Retailers scrambled to streamline and strengthen their online presence, believing customers would preference shopping from the comfort of there homes rather than the hustle and bustle of the busy shop.
Years later and it can only be said the predicted trends have not come to fruition. Whereas before experts suggested up to 40% of purchases would be online by 2020, the current figure is closer to 10%, or out of every 16 purchase 15 were made in-store.
This is reflected on a macro level where big businesses, such as Amazon who have forged their business on and traditionally dominated the online sphere, are moving towards a preference for bricks and mortar premises.
Customers are going back to and venturing into stores for the shopping experience despite the online option, and Barry Urquhart from Marketing Focus has studied the trend.
"People have a declared preference for touching, feeling, taking possession of and taking home the product that they want to buy because they want to interact with it, access quality and value, which in many instances can't be done or is very subjective online."
Sampling is also an issue when it comes to shopping online, simply because it is impractical to do so. Barry Urquhart again.
"People like to sample. They like to make assessments. And you can't do that objectively online very readily. When you can go out there and taste that biscuit or icecream, try that pen, bricks and mortar is always favoured."
While the current percentage of online sales is just under one in 10, Barry does predict it may rise up to 20%, but no higher.
The crucial takeout is for retailers to focus on the in-store experience and making it positive for the customer, because that is the best means to encourage consumers to come back!
To hear the rest of the conversation with Barry Urquhart with Sean on the Triple M Esperance Breaky Show please click on the link below!