In store shopping vs online shopping | Advantages of Mobile Showroom
India’s retail industry is one of the world’s fastest growing. It is one of the country’s economic pillars, accounting for approximately 10% of GDP. The Indian retail sector is estimated to be worth US$ 600 billion, placing it among the top five economies in the world. India’s retail market is one of the world’s fastest growing. Indian customers are picky when it comes to their purchases. Consumer tastes differ depending on whether they prefer online or offline shopping. Both the internet and traditional shopping have their own collection of benefits and drawbacks. Internet shopping removes the need to drive long distances, provides more variety, is available 24 hours a day, offers significant discounts, and allows for consumer feedback. Traditional shopping, on the other hand, requires consumers to personally inspect items, which is not possible for online shopping. Consumers can use both online and traditional modes of shopping depending on their preferences at the time, resulting in radically different behaviors in both modes of shopping. Both the internet and traditional shopping have their own collection of benefits and drawbacks. Internet shopping removes the need to drive long distances, provides more variety, is available 24 hours a day, offers significant discounts, and allows for consumer feedback. Traditional shopping, on the other hand, requires consumers to personally inspect items, which is not possible for online shopping. Consumers can use both online and traditional modes of shopping depending on their preferences at the time, resulting in radically different behaviors in both modes of shopping. The aim of this article is to shed some light on the differences between online and offline shopping conduct.
When a customer decides to buy something, the first question that comes to mind is which mode of shopping they can use to meet their needs. To satisfy their purchasing needs, they should go to both online and conventional brick and mortar stores. The proliferation of options available to consumers has posed a significant challenge for businesses in terms of how they can target customers in order to retain competitive advantages. Making purchases on the internet, particularly for apparel items, has almost become a standard in developed countries such as the United States. However, in a developing country like India, the majority of people still depend on brick and mortar stores for a variety of purchases. While online shopping has become very popular in recent years, especially among teenagers and young people, offline shopping continues to outnumber its online counterpart in absolute numbers. Learning and analyzing customer behavior is critical for the success of any company, whether online or offline, in today’s world. The economy is driven by customers. All market operations are carried out with the consumer’s best interests in mind. Online shopping, which is a relatively new phenomenon in India, has gained traction in recent years, aided by increased internet penetration, leaving consumers spoilt for options. The internet aids product marketing by online advertising.
The healthy competition between online retailers and their brick-and-mortar counterparts has ushered in a new age in which customers can select the medium of shopping that best suits their needs.
The means of collecting product information, perceived risk, and the ability of consumers to access similar kinds of products based on their tastes are some of the key differences between the two modes of shopping.
In light of the five-stage customer decision-making model, a comparison of online and offline shopping is made:
Figure 1 illustrates the five-stage customer decision-making model.
Despite the fact that online and offline shopping platforms are two very different modes of shopping, the five-stage customer decision-making model is equally applicable to both. Let’s take a look at each of the five stages of the customer decision-making process.
Need Identification: Regardless of the mode of purchasing, most decision-making begins with a dilemma. The customer perceives a distinction between the current stage in which he or she is and the ideal stage in which he or she wishes to be. The customer’s need is the missing piece that can fulfil the customer’s frustration. Marketers must recognise this stage and provide goods and services that meet the needs. For example, if a customer has to purchase a new set of clothes in order to attend an upcoming wedding ceremony, this is a customer need.
ii) Information gathering: The majority of us aren’t experts on all that goes on around us. We evaluate the products and services that can meet our requirements at this level. Aside from our friends, family members, and neighbours, we can now search for details on the internet. When it comes to this point, the main difference between online and offline shopping is the cost of searching. Unlike offline shopping, which is time consuming and physically taxing, online shopping has a very low search cost and is as simple as pressing a few buttons. This is the point at which risk management begins. Consumers consider the advantages and disadvantages of a commodity before making a purchase. Customers are more likely to recall positive experiences than negative ones, so it’s crucial to dedicate a substantial amount of time to this point. Customers don’t want to later regret their decision to buy a particular product or service.
iii) Alternatives evaluation: This is the stage in which goods and services are evaluated to determine which are the best. Now, since consumer preferences differ from person to person, this decision is completely subjective. The range of items available online gives online retail firms an edge over their brick and mortar counterparts. Customers have more choices to choose from because of the larger range. Aside from that, the online customer review option allows consumers to read feedback and make their own choices based on the options available. However, the tangibility attribute is one advantage of offline shops in this regard. Customers can interact with the product by touching and feeling it. They can even have a hands-on demonstration and check it out for themselves. They can also communicate with the store’s salespeople. That will certainly assist them in making well-informed decisions.
iv) Purchase: After deliberation, goods and services are purchased at this point. In the case of offline shopping, goods and services may be used right away, while in the case of online shopping, consumers must wait for the product to be delivered by the delivery company. Apps can be downloaded and used directly from websites in the case of services like software. At this point, a consumer has either weighed all the evidence and reached a rational conclusion, made a decision based on emotional connections/experiences, or fallen prey to advertising/marketing strategies, or a mixture of all three.
v) Post-purchase assessment: The evaluation stage is critical for both the business and the consumer. Did the product live up to the marketing/advertising campaigns’ promises? Is the product up to par or even better than you expected? If a customer is dissatisfied with a product and wants a replacement, he or she must behave accordingly both online and offline. In the case of a physical store, the substitute can be accessed by visiting the store during regular business hours. In the case of an online store, filing a complaint involves calling customer service, waiting for the delivery company to pick up the order, and waiting for the replacement to arrive.
III. DISCUSSION AND Performance
On the basis of certain criteria, a comparison of online and offline purchases is made:
i) Affordability: This is one of the advantages of shopping across the internet. Unlike in the case of offline sales, consumers who shop online do not have to drive all the way to a physical store, jostle with other customers during peak shopping seasons, or struggle to locate a parking spot for their cars. Online stores are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and items are shipped to consumers’ homes or offices, as needed. As a result, a customer will easily wake up in the middle of the night and place an order for a smartphone or clothes. One of the key reasons for the increase in popularity of online shopping is this. ii) Variety: A customer’s delight is an online store. No offline store can equal the range of items available in various product categories that an online store can. Since online stores do not have to worry about space constraints, they can offer a wide range of products in one location. Consumers have a wide range of options thanks to this wide variety, which was not possible until the advent of this medium.
ii) Variety: A customer’s delight is an online store. No offline store can equal the range of items available in various product categories that an online store can. Since online stores do not have to worry about space constraints, they can offer a wide range of products in one location. Consumers have a wide range of options thanks to this wide variety, which was not possible until the advent of this medium.
iii) User review: One of the advantages of online shopping is that it allows potential consumers to learn about the success of goods from people who are similar to them long before they get their hands on them. After a consumer purchases a product through an online retailer, the shopping company asks the customer to share their experiences with the product on the portal so that other consumers can read it and determine for themselves whether or not to buy it. Customers are better able to choose the right items for themselves as a result of this.
iv) Comparison shopping: Before buying a product, we like to go to a few different stores. In the case of offline shopping, this entails physically visiting each store to inspect the merchandise. This is time-consuming as well as physically taxing. However, when it comes to online shopping, we can easily pull up a range of different online shopping sites on our smartphones and compare the items. We can choose to buy from a specific site based on the comparison and best International Journal of Scientific Research in Science and Technology (www.ijsrst.com) 429 offer available.
v) Discounts: One of the most compelling reasons for customers, especially young people, to shop online is for discounts. Since online retailers don’t have to spend money on shop decoration or hire a large number of salespeople, they may deliver goods and services at much lower prices than their brick-and-mortar equivalents.
vi) Unique product availability: It’s almost become fashionable for manufacturers of mobile devices and other product categories to launch their brand new items exclusively on a specific shopping platform these days. These items are not available in any offline stores, and the exclusive right to sell them is granted to a single online platform. Customers are then left with no choice but to buy these items through the portal.
vii) One of the disadvantages of online shopping is the lack of tangibility and trialability. Customers can touch, sound, and get a firsthand demo of items in brick and mortar stores, and in the case of clothing, they can try it on before buying it.
Online platforms, on the other hand, provide consumers with only product images and specifications, which may not be adequate in some cases to make an informed purchase. Even though some e-tailers now give free trials upon delivery, where a customer can return a product or service if they are dissatisfied with it. Despite this, offline stores will still have a competitive advantage over their online counterparts in this market.
ix) Merchandise delivery: Unlike in brick-and-mortar stores, where consumers can instantly use goods after purchase, in online shopping, there is a substantial period of time between placing an order and receiving products, which can take up to weeks. As a consequence, items that need to be used right away cannot be purchased online. To fix this issue, online portals have begun to provide premium services such as same-day or next-day delivery of goods in exchange for additional fees.
x) Inventory returns: This is a common source of failure for online retailers. Customers can return merchandise to an offline store for a refund or exchange, but online shopping necessitates calling customer service and waiting for the courier for reverse logistics. Getting your money back or having your products exchanged are two choices.
It is likely that the whole procedure will take a month.
Despite the fact that most online shopping sites offer money-back guarantees or product swap options, the experience can be traumatic.
Based on some criteria, the existing literature indicates that there are major variations between customer purchasing types in online and offline mediums of shopping. Despite the fact that online sales in India have grown rapidly and are expected to continue to rise, the majority of Indian consumers still prefer the so-called “true” shopping experience of brick and mortar stores. According to various reports, it is primarily the youth who are driving India’s incredible growth story in online shopping. The introduction of online shopping has undoubtedly had a major impact on brick-and-mortar shops. The etailers’ significant discounts have placed a lot of pressure on their profit margins.
Furthermore, the rising cost of real estate in India has put doubt on the viability of brick-and-mortar operations. With an ever-growing consumer base, however, no online retailer has yet to break even. Their undoing has been due to large discounts on products and services. Retailers are attempting to stay present in both online and offline platforms in order to satisfy the demands of as many customers as possible, a concept known as omni-channel strategy.