Where are Your Customers? Shopping Online vs. In-Store

The retail industry as we once knew it is dying. In 2015, 5,077 stores closed their doors to customers. One year later, 2,056 stores suffered the same fate.

And we’re still in the midst of this trend.

The food industry isn’t immune to this phenomenon. Online alternatives to traditional food stores are quickly gaining popularity.

As a result, entrepreneurs in this industry must consider taking their businesses online. But before doing so, they must figure out where their customers are.

Do your customers shop online or in store? And why do some customers prefer shopping online vs in-store and vice versa?

Let’s get inside the head of the average shopper.

Why People Shop Online

As we said before, even the food industry is feeling the effects of the shift in how customers shop. Almost 50% of American consumers have purchased consumer packaged goods online within the last few months.

This rate is even higher amongst millennials. Over 60% of them have bought consumer packaged goods within that same time frame.

So why do these people prefer shopping online vs in store? Well…

1. It’s Convenient

Customers don’t always have the time to drop everything and visit your brick-and-mortar business. This is especially true if you’re operating a grocery store which requires people to browse countless aisles for the products of their choice.

Online shopping eliminates this hassle. Customers simply go online, search for the items they want, add them to a digital cart, and check out.

2. It Lets You Shop at Your Own Pace

When people shop online, there’s no pressure to move quickly or meet any deadlines. They’re already sitting at home, possibly spending time with loved ones or watching TV.

Which makes for a pleasant shopping experience.

There are several more reasons for customers to shop online. But the list is endless.

In any case, be sure to do some research before transitioning to e-commerce if you’re looking to capitalise on consumers’ preference for online shopping

Why People Shop In Store

As convenient as online shopping is, there are still many reasons to visit a food business’s physical location.

Let’s take a look at some of these reasons:

1. Shopping In-Store Is Less Expensive

People might be able to find great deals online, but delivery fees drive up the cost of online shopping. Not everyone is always willing to shell out extra cash for convenience.

And delivery fees aren’t the only added costs.

Even customers who pick up their orders will incur higher costs. Businesses charge convenience fees for assembling the items in a buyer’s digital cart.

2. Shopping In-Store Is A More Social Experience

If we lived in a world in which we only shopped online, we’d go crazy. Most people want to be social sometimes, so they won’t always choose to shop on the web.

Some food businesses can capitalise on this desire for a social environment by setting up in-store areas (i.e. cafes, etc.) which encourage socialising with other customers.

Shopping Online Vs In Store: A Matter of Personal Preference

There you have it. Those are the major reasons why some of your customers prefer shopping online vs in store. Now that you know what kind of shopping experiences they like, you can turn your food business into a powerhouse.

But if you need a little help along the way?

Seedling Commerce will be there to support you every step of the way. Just contact us to find out more about e-commerce solutions for food businesses.

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