Is the marriage of brick and click the way forward? Find out.
BI | Red Newswire | Nov 17, 2015 06:41 PM IST.
The e-commerce boom has created two worlds- online (or the click, courtesy mouse and keyboard) and the offline (or the brick, courtesy the cemented structures). Technology, e-commerce and multiple mediums of interaction and social-commerce are drivers of change in consumer retail.
The buying behavior of a customer has changed fundamentally. A Mckinsey report estimated that the number of internet users in India will rise to 370 million, surpassing all developed countries by 2015. This will thereby enhance customer behavior even more as multiple channels of interaction will evolve.
But, at the same time we cannot ignore the brick-and-mortar shops completely as they give us the touch and feel experience, which is more credible than seeing. So, is the marriage between click and brick the way forward?
Pros & Cons
The explosion of the Internet and more importantly accessibility in terms of being able to connect on the go with smartphones, means that it is increasingly getting easier to shop online.
The apps market is booming and it is a little wonder that Myntra decided to go the “app-only” route. The recently concluded festive sales from all e-commerce majors were largely centered through the app! In fact, the online space is growing leaps and bounds as in the branded apparel market in India, consumers have always opted for multiple channels for shopping, weighing their needs and preferences. Naturally, the convenience of shopping at home and avoiding traffic and queues is a charm and is hard to resist.
On the other side, the traditional brick-and-mortar stores are doing their bit to ensure that they sell their touch and feel and personalized experience to customers. As far as personal care is concerned, there is an issue with the right size when it comes to shoes or any apparel and that is where it is impossible to beat an offline experience. Also, despite the fact that online transactions are safe, there is still a wide perception that it is unsafe to use debit and credit cards.
It is quite obvious that online and offline businesses operate as two different and philosophically competing worlds trying to target the same end consumer. As a result, the consumer is trying to navigate the online and offline worlds. Again, new entrepreneurs are increasingly choosing to take the online route and stories of their entrepreneurial successes and funding rounds, however, do not mean the end of offline retail.
With its ability to offer touch and feel experience, offline retail continues to play a role that has significantly changed. In fact, the new dynamics means that the consumer will research online, check the product offline and probably purchase online. So how does one create value? Most intelligent retailers are seeing the way forward as one which marries the brick and click. Having an equal online and offline presence certainly seems the way forward. A slew of recent announcements by major corporates indicate that this is the way to go.
An integrated approach with virtual and physical spaces providing a convenient experience to the brand is the way forward for businesses who can then strike the balance between the click and the brick.
(The author of the article is Radeesh Shetty, Founder, The Purple Turtles)