Will in-store or online win this holiday season? It’s not so simple
Monday, November 05, 2018
Every year, beneath all those magical twinkle lights and pine-scented evergreen wreaths, it seems like there’s a battle going on. Will brick-and-mortar stores be able to win back customers, or will online shopping beat ‘em?
Online shopping is expected to grow this holiday season (as it does every year). This year, people will spend an estimated $124.1 billion online. That’s a 14.8 percent increase year-over-year, according to Adobe research.
But even as online sales grow, last year, the majority of holiday sales (85 percent) were still done in brick-and-mortar stores, according to PYMNTS data.
This year, even more people want to experience those magical window displays. Six percent more people (across all generations) will be heading to a physical store compared to last year, found a Natural Insight study.
Don’t worry. Their phones will certainly be going with them — and often inspiring the visit itself. Nearly half of retail visits (48 percent) will come from smartphones, found Adobe. 52 percent of shoppers are there to see and touch the items they saw online before buying, according to a Natural Insight study.
Once they’re there, though, their expectations don’t change. Just like if they were shopping online, people expect their experience to be stress-free, over quickly and done in as few stores as possible, found PwC Holiday data.
How can you make that happen?
Well, the answer is already in your pocket and theirs! Integrate mobile devices into your retail experience to win big during the holiday season.
How to Make Better Use of Mobile in Retail
Go all in on the hottest retail trend of this year: Buy-online-pick-up-in-store (BOPIS) is outpacing all other retail sectors. Since January, BOPIS purchases have grown 119 percent overall with top retailers seeing 350 percent growth according to Adobe research.
For last-minute shoppers, BOPIS is as big of an allure as one-day shipping. Already, 50 percent of consumers are planning to use this service during the holidays, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF). Bonus? No lines!
Reduce the lines: 65 percent of people say they hate the crowds they encounter when in-store shopping, found a Natural Insight study. As the holiday season presses on, 58 percent of people care more about avoiding long lines than anything else, found Facebook IQ data.
To solve this, try placing sales associates (who can also answer questions) in busy aisles so that they can check customers out right there using a mobile POS system.
Make your store easier to navigate: Ever been up and down what seems like every single aisle in the store and yet you still can’t find what you’re looking for? It’s frustrating.
That’s why more than 50 percent of those between 18-29 and over 60 said finding what they were looking for was the main holiday stressor, according to a Natural Insight study. To solve the problem, add a map to your mobile app or website.
Don’t try to beat online shopping. Know when you can’t win, and keep the store closed on Thanksgiving. Instead, encourage shoppers to spend time with their loved ones!
This year, 14 percent more shoppers are staying at home on Thanksgiving, found Adobe. That more than accounts for the 60 percent increase in those shopping on their phones that day!
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