Why Some Customers Prefer to Shop in a Store vs Online

By Steve Di Orio
Posted in Store Management
On April 24, 2015

While there is a big focus on ecommerce and online shopping, brick and mortar stores are still very popular and frequently visited. Smallbiztrends.com reports that 93% of overall retail purchases made in the U.S. are still in actual stores. There is a lot of convenience when it comes to perusing the store shelves in person and being able to see, touch and try on the merchandise. Ordering online runs the risk of something not being the right size, the color appearing completely different online than in person, and many more inconvenient possibilities. So if you own an actual store fear not, keep those display shelves stocked and the customers will continue to roll in. Here are a few reasons why, and how you can take advantage of them.

 

Convenience

 

It may seem like online shopping would be most convenient, but not for everyone. Some people don’t feel comfortable

sharing a credit card online, or they may need to purchase and obtain an item immediately, and don’t even have the time to wait for that pricey 24 hour shipping.

 

Tip: If a shopper is coming to your store for convenience sake, make sure your store actually is convenient. Keep store fixtures neat, organized and well stocked and have your store set up in a way that is easy for shoppers to navigate.

 

Expertise

 

Many people like to visit stores for the expertise of the employees. This is especially true for big purchases or people buying something out of their comfort zone. Selecting a computer, big screen TV or major home renovation item are all things people might seek the help of an expert for. Sometimes the sheer number of options online can be overwhelming, and finding a store employee that can help narrow down the decision can be worth the trip to your store.

 

Tip: Make sure your staff is highly trained and able to offer accurate advice and opinions. They should be the experts that shoppers are looking for.

 

Test Drive

 

Taking merchandise for a test drive, whether it be clothing or a new iPad, is a major reason people like to visit stores. Ordering a bunch of clothes and finding out that none of them fit and they need to be sent back or taken up to the store is never fun. When you get to test out the product and see that it is an ideal match, the risk of having to make a return goes way down.

 

Tip: Keep plenty of merchandise in stock for customers to try. Have the different sizes, colors, models, etc. of product in back stock so that shoppers can experiment with all of their choices up front.

 

Satisfaction

 

Many people think of shopping as a way to blow off steam, have some fun with family or friends, or as a reward for completing a big project or handling a crisis. They may have had a bad day and are visiting their favorite store to find something new to cheer them up a bit. Either way, your store should be a place that makes them feel welcome and uplifted.

 

Tip: Keep the lighting bright and upbeat and the merchandise neat and organized. The music should be at comfortable levels and the décor should be inviting. By taking one look at your store, shoppers should be drawn into the welcoming environment.

 

Inspiration

 

Sometimes people just need a little inspiration before making a purchase. Whether it’s to see a beautiful furniture layout at Pottery Barn or a new trendy outfit in their favorite department store, seeing ideas laid out in front of them is a common reason why shoppers like to visit actual stores. Plus, stylish and on-trend sales people can help drive the point home and find them a solution that will work best.

 

Tip: Keep window displays and in-store mannequins and store displays up-to-date. If an item is in limited stock don’t draw attention to it and instead focus on displaying new shipments.

 

Brick and mortar stores aren’t going away any time soon. Fill your store with the right selection of products, make it an inviting and inspiring atmosphere, have a knowledgeable staff, and keep everything organized and easy to shop to keep the customers coming back.

Steve Di Orio

Steve Di Orio

Steven DiOrio has been with Handy Store Fixtures for over 11 years. After becoming the Marketing Manager in 2006, very recently he was named Director of Marketing. Currently, Steven is pursuing his MBA from Montclair State University with a specialization in Digital Marketing. When not at work, he loves to travel, play golf, exercise, and talk all things search engine marketing and retail display tips.