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While e-commerce has shown itself as a very convenient way of acquiring products, physical retail stores have their uniqueness.
Try asking random individual on the street how did he make his recent purchase. The answer will very likely be ‘online’. The convenience which the internet brought with its widespread adoption for customers is undoubtful. But still, comfort and speed are not the only factors that affect customers’ decision on where to shop.
What only e-commerce brands lack is the opportunity to engage customers with a truly personal touch. Yes, when you order given product online, you get that dopamine hit in your brain. It may make you feel satisfied for a moment, but that’s just it.
On the other hand, physical retail is capable of attracting shopper through profound and more immersive dimensions. To name the few: the eye-catching design of the store, pleasant smell, or friendly social interaction with a shop assistant. That’s the perks of brick-and-mortar stores, which a customer will never truly experience while shopping online.
Researchers at the Linnaeus University in Sweden in their recent article in the Journal of Retailing and Consumers Services, confirm the notion. “For retailers, a visually dominant store atmosphere should be designed more in the direction of a multi-sensory atmosphere in offering shoppers more appealing experiences of the retail setting.”, university researchers stated in the publication.
When customers are fully engaged through their senses, the chance of actual purchase is substantially higher. Also, the unforgettable shopping experience leads to overall brand’s likeability. Customer will be more likely to return to the store when considering the next purchase and prone to recommend it to relatives.
It would be a shame if brick-and-mortar stores didn’t utilize their unique advantage. Not one online retailer can compete with the physical store when it comes to the genuine, physical shopping experience. It’s upon them to appropriately use this power and transform it.