Though the retailers are experiencing decline in walk-ins at their Store-front as consumers rely on their mobile devices – to research and purchase products online.
According to a Total Retail 2016 report, physical stores are still operating from a “position of strength” even as foot traffic at stores slows. Research shows that many consumers still desire a physical interaction with a product. They want to do more than look at photos on their computer screen. They want a hands-on experience to judge colors, fabrics and overall quality for themselves.
Not only groceries but goods that consumers are buying in-store include furniture & housewares at 62%; appliances at 59%; home improvement at 55% and clothing & footwear at 53%.
Undoubtedly, the retail industry is suffering due to online portals but three of the top reasons that consumers keep coming back to stores is to avoid delivery and shipping costs, get items immediately and try on items such as apparel and footwear. When it comes to creating an experience-rich environment for consumers, a physical store always has an edge over online stores.
But the question arises, how to increase retail sales in this digital environment. The only answer is developing a multi-faceted omni-channel strategy that reaches out to shoppers online, and via mobile devices.
To survive and thrive, retailers have to stay on their toes in both the digital and physical space by adopting search + social strategy to get more walk-ins at Store-front.