E-commerce or traditional: why choose just one?
One of the most obvious changes caused by the global health crisis has been in the purchasing habits of the average consumer. The e-commerce or electronic commerce format represented a bilateral salvation in the market, and a huge opportunity for marketing agencies: brands they had the opportunity to continue offering their products virtually, and users were able to purchase them from their homes during the strictest times of confinement.
This new scenario put on the table a not so recent dichotomy: physical store vs. On-line shop. Or, from a more radical point of view: will electronic commerce put an end to traditional?
The advantages of the physical store
“The possibilities of impacting the consumer, of persuasion, are multiplied, since the five senses come into play. Also, the fact of being able to go to a place, see the product, touch it and try it gives you a greater sense of security. And our brain loves security. Not to mention the consumer experience. A physical space gives you many more options to leave a mark on the customer and promotes loyalty”, explains Fernando Carruesco, an expert in marketing and innovation, for the silicon.es portal.
The multisensory experience offered by physical spaces is a determining factor that has not lost its validity despite the constant expansion of electronic commerce. Direct contact with the product is something that cannot be compared to a photo or video through a device.
Likewise, personalized advice and attention continue to be a competitive advantage for brands that want to differentiate themselves from their competition. Through an efficient customer service, they can resolve doubts instantly and speed up the purchase action.
The omnichannel as an intelligent solution
Regardless of the advantages of one modality or another, the new normal showed that the future of successful stores will be determined by a complement between the online and the offline channels.
Even with the current circumstances, together with the implementation of ICT in electronic commerce, concepts have been created that only have reason to exist through the synergy between the physical store and the online business.
One of them is ROPO (Research Online Purchase Offline), a practice whose trend is constantly growing. This refers to buyers who search for information and the same product on the Internet, but finally make the purchase in person at the point of sale. The other habit is known as showrooming, which consists of looking for the products in the store, but making the purchase online.
Therefore, the best strategies will be those that integrate both channels, instead of opting for one or the other, and seeing them as antagonistic characters. The real opportunity lies in strengthening all the alternatives that can be offered to the customer through electronic commerce: website, payment platforms, point of sale, social networks, communication channels and databases, all these fundamental elements of the service portfolio of marketing agencies.