Retail: online sales will grow but brick-and-mortar experiences still captures the hearts (Forrester)
Forrester says that online spending of Amerika will increase from $175 billion to $310 billion in 2010, but the brick-and-mortar experience still captures the hearts of most North Americans. In fact, 83% of consumers who buy products online prefer shopping offline to any other channel. Why can’t the Web break up this love affair with the physical world? Retailers should listen closer to the tunes their consumers are singing. Here is what Forrester says in its email RetailAlert.
“– I want to hold your hand. The Web just can?t seem to replace that personal touch.
– Do you really want to hurt me? Consumers are beginning to take notice of some of the Web’s negative effects on their physical health, while, so far, there have been few complaints about stores having a negative effect on consumers’ health.
– Suspicious minds. Security concerns still top the charts as the reason consumers don’t shop online. In fact, 62% of consumers don’t shop online because they don?t want to give their personal or financial information over the Internet.
– Right here, right now. The top reason that consumers research a product online but then go into the store to buy it is that they want the product immediately.
So what does this mean for retailers? The Web and stores should think less "Can?t Get Enough Of Your Love, Babe" and more "Part-Time Lover": Consumers won?t use the Web or stores exclusively, so the Web and stores will have to work together to meet the demands of today?s multichannel consumer. To earn more love for the online channel, retailers must improve Web and email customer service channels to better match in-person service by offering simple escalation options like click-to-callback and enhanced merchandising technologies (look out for our upcoming report "Mastering Online Merchandising"), and by experimenting with alternative payment options. To bridge the channel gap and introduce online shopping holdouts to the benefits of the Web, stores can offer in-store kiosks with expanded inventory or product information and reviews. Until retailers change their tune, they’ll be stuck listening to the consumer remake of "(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction," and trust me, it can’t hold a candle to Mick.”
(source: Forrester email RetailAlert)