From small online stores to giant retailers like Amazon, E-commerce is on the rise. While E-commerce has not yet surpassed traditional retail – and may not – there are many reasons why people prefer online shopping to traditional retail. Here are 5 of the biggest reasons E-commerce is derailing traditional retail.
1) Better selection
The reality is, no brick and mortar store will ever be able to compete with the sheer vastness of online offerings. Currently, 4 out of 5 people shop online for a better selection. In many cases, however, having a broader selection to choose from doesn’t always mean they won’t land on exactly what they would have purchased in a brick and mortar store, but people love the idea of having an almost unlimited number of options – which is exactly what the internet provides.
2) No crowds, no parking and no walking
Obviously, most people have essentially the same windows of time to shop in physical stores, which means physical stores are almost invariably crowded when people have time to shop. This also means parking lots are jammed, and there are long walks and long waits if you need any assistance with anything. This is particularly frustrating for people who need one thing and know exactly what they need, which is why more and more people are shopping online.
3) No lines at the checkout – and no pricing hassles either
Online shopping is quick, convenient and hassle-free when it comes time to pay. Best of all, shoppers don’t have to depend on a register to ring up purchases properly. Because there are no tags to deal with, the price shown on the website is almost always the same price at checkout. And if it’s not your item that’s the problem, you don’t have to stand in line waiting for other people’s pricing issues to get sorted out either.
4) Delivered right to your door
With the number of online items available with free shipping, not only are you relieved of having to deal with parking, crowds and long lines, you don’t even have to carry your purchases out to your car or from your car to your house. This is particularly convenient for large or bulky items that may not fit in smaller cars. Shoppers can even opt for repeat delivery on regularly used items, so they don’t even have to put in a new order every few weeks.
5) More information
Most of today’s purchases are hybrid purchases. Even when people end up buying something in a physical store, most purchase decisions begin online. This can help traditional retailers, however, because consumers aren’t as dependent on sales staff to have an encyclopedic knowledge of all the products.
While E-commerce is opening up whole new realms of purchasing options, traditional retailers should not close up shop just yet. The one drawback to E-commerce is when it comes to returns. People still prefer being able to return items in person, where they can even do an exchange. Tomorrow’s stores may be significantly smaller than today’s giant marts, but a broad segment of consumers that still like to try before they buy and return in person.