In-store versus online: Where are we now?
The UK is the largest e-commerce market in Europe, followed closely by France, where the French Ecommerce Federation (Fevad) estimates more than €100 billion in online sales last year. The rise in online retail has been driven by dramatic increases in the number of buyers and the frequency of their purchases, particularly using mobile devices.
That said, the vast majority of purchases still take place in stores. One Samsung study (1) claims that 79% of consumers finalise their purchases in-store. Nearly half of shoppers go directly to the store when they want to buy an item (46%), while a third first research online before going. The ‘showrooming’ effect – namely, looking at products in stores and then completing the purchase online – only represents around 6% of shoppers to date, while the proportion of core online shoppers amounts to about 15% today.
Convenience, frequency of shopping and the types of products also have an impact on the way we shop – and whether we favour online, or the store. For instance, one study, conducted by Opinionway (2), found that although virtually everyone buys something online at least once a month, 36% of those surveyed didn’t order items like clothing, fashion, health and beauty products. But just as online shopping continues to grow, e-commerce is far from marking the end of the store. Nonetheless, in the face of rising competition – and to meet the needs of customers who are more connected and demanding than ever before – retailers have to rethink the role of the store.
New in-store omnichannel services: Ship from Store, e-reservations and Click and Collect
Even though the role of the store is far from over, the days of having a separate channel specifically for the allocation of sales to the web, or the store, is no longer viable. With omnichannel, the previous divisions fall by the wayside and retailers can now be sure of never missing a sale by offering more to the customer.
In-store omnichannel services are a great weapon for differentiating against digital brands, with e-reservations, Click and Collect, endless aisles and Ship from Store, the customer enjoys all the flexibility they need. This means retrieving or receiving products wherever and however the customer wants. You can view this as an added arm to the power of stores.
Cegid’s Retail Director
The role of the store is changing: sometimes becoming logistics hubs in their own right. Now, retailers need to determine whether it’s best to directly ship an order from the web or a store.
(1) 2nd Smart Retail Barometer – Samsung and LSA
(2) Delivery Services Survey: Realities on French Expectations, April 2018. Opinionway for SprintProject and GS1 France.