It is pretty challenging to resist the trend of online trading development, as the situation has worsened with the introduction of a mass of restrictions against the background of the pandemic. More adaptable and flexible retailers immediately began to consider the possibility of online sales, cooperation with aggregators, and the development of their delivery services. Having warehouses all over the city has become more critical than having more complicated and more expensive stores to maintain. However, store-based retailers have certain advantages with online sales. Firstly, customers see the direct product, not its picture, which can be touched, tried on, and evaluated the quality of the appearance. Secondly, there are always professionals in stores responsible for the quality of goods and can advise the client on all vital issues, unlike online marketplaces, where one has to wait up to three days for an answer. Finally, although goods’ return and warranty cases are also provided for online purchases, the offline checkout process is currently more straightforward.
The differences between offline and online stores, as we found out, consist only in the automation of business processes; logically, these forms of commerce can freely move into one another and complement each other. More and more offline stores are opening an online point of sale to reach all segments of buyers. It applies to clothing, electronics, household goods, products, and other everyday things. Accordingly, any online store can also take the business offline. A good reason for this may be that when shopping online, users are not prone to spontaneous purchases: after all, no one is in a hurry, one can safely choose the right products. On the contrary, the percentage of impulsive purchases is high offline (Aragoncillo & Orus, 2018). Therefore, the main advice for brick-and-mortar retailers is not to resist trends but to maintain a balance between offline and online sales and focus buyers on the main advantages of the offline sector in marketing campaigns.
Aragoncillo, L., & Orus, C. (2018). Impulse buying behaviour: an online-offline comparative and the impact of social media. Spanish Journal of Marketing-ESIC, 22(1), 42-62. Web.