One lazy morning, Avni realized that she doesn’t have any dress that can make her stand out in a crowd. Immediately, she starts checking out the dresses available on popular e-commerce stores.
Time flies. Soon she adds some stuff in the shopping cart and proceeds to checkout. Now she feels at ease.
Isn’t online shopping too much convenient to be true? No long queues, no need to carry heavy shopping bags, no crowd, and of course, easy returns and luxury of order placement 24 x7!
Welcome to the e-commerce world which has ushered a disruption in traditional shopping! So, let’s explore whether e-commerce will take over retail completely in 2019 or not.
Convergence of online and offline retail stores
“We will continue to see a convergence of the digital and physical world. Those who conquer that trend will be market leaders.” — John Phillips
A few years back, the senior vice president with PepsiCo was not making an overstatement. Unless you are living under a rock, you may be aware that Amazon has already made a bold move. In India alone; the e-commerce biggie has now pick-up stores in more than 40 cities! So, it is very likely that those who have an online presence will have a physical presence and vice versa.
It will not be easy to woo the tech-savvy customers by offering attractive products at low prices or by enabling them to touch and feel the same in a physical store. To offer an integrated customer experience via a multi-channel sales approach will become the need of the hour.
Augmented Reality (AR) will raise the bar
Remember Pokemon Go? Millions of people went crazy to find little monsters in the real world. Augmented reality in which digital data can be overlaid on a real view will not remain restricted to gaming. It will become one of the vital tools for offering an immersive shopping experience.
Although in the international market, many retail stores have actively invested in this technology, India is still lagging behind, but things are looking rosy now. For example, Shoppers Stop has launched a dressing room powered by AR in its Malad store in Mumbai which enables the customers to try more 1500 products in just a matter of few seconds by standing in front of a mirror. Thanks to an unprecedented increase in mobile users, both online and offline store retailers will use apps powered by AR. The aim will be to help the shoppers to try on or view their chosen products in a range of colors right in their device!
In spite of all the advantages that the e-commerce offers and after spending endless hours in browsing the online retail stores, a large number of shoppers will rather visit a brick and mortar store to see and feel the product before making a final purchase decision. Impulsive buyers will, however, continue to rely completely on e-commerce sites to make the most of its advantageous features such as cash on delivery and attractive deals. With digital-driven countries like China and America having 82 and 89 percent physical models, there is a huge potential for physical retail stores in India. So, if we talk exclusively about the Indian scenario, e-commerce will not take over our humble kirana stores completely anytime soon.