Retail vs E-Tail – Why Your Customers Crave Both

The goal of any business is to make money by selling product to consumers. The tricks, however, is to find where the shoppers are and determine their shopping habits. Successful companies are ones that have been able to identify consumers’ needs and create a business model to fulfill them. Some people ask whether it is better to just sell online or if having a store is the better route. The reality is that consumers crave both types of shopping experiences.

Online Shopping Growth

According to CMO in 2014, online shopping is continuing to rise and is expected to exceed $350 billion in 2017. This is a growth of over $120 billion since 2012. People are now sharing reviews online and the ability to shop from mobile devices are convenient, especially for those under the age of 35. Even though online shopping continues to rise, classic shopping in person is still desired.

Product Expectations Play a Role

One reason that consumers love to shop online is the convenience and the ability to price compare quickly. Items that a consumer can predict the quality on based on previous experience or communicating with others are likely to be purchased online. Companies such as Younique feed off of this by selling products that people have found to be reliable.

However, if there is a product that a person needs but is not sure what to look for; they are going to shop for the product in a brick-and-mortar store. This is because if the product does not meet expectations, it is going to be returned. Regardless of the convenience that comes with shopping online, the strong desire to test a product out, feel it, and return it will drive that consumer to a store.

Similar Expectations but Different Drives

The expectations of consumers will be similar whether they are shopping online or in person. When it comes to visiting a retailer, they are giving you their time of day and spending fuel expenses to get something they want. Their expectations will be that you interact with them, make them feel special, and help them walk out of the store that day with the product they want.

Online stores can help feed the need to be talked through the process by offering live chat and phone numbers to give support. For example, this bidet toilet seat company offers consumers the ability to browse by type, brand, or price. However, they also have a section that helps consumers who are unfamiliar with bidets to know how to shop. Customers can have their expectations to leave with a product they need met, as well as have the interaction they crave.

In summary, offering an online store is not necessarily better than a physical store. It is important to know that the online stores offer flexibility of pay, ability to browse, and convenience. However, actual stores offer consumers the ability to touch and sample, and shop without feeling like they will be bombarded with communication following the purchase, which is why many consumers crave both shopping experiences.


Alesia Hsiao is a professional writer who specializes in business topics. She has written for numerous sites on the web and is known for providing her readers with valuable guest posting services  content.

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