During August this year, ordering online sales dropped by 4.6% compared to the same month the previous year. In contrast, retailers saw an increase in footfall returning to the high street. It seems that what was feared pre-pandemic with regards to the fact that high streets would close completely, might now be seeing a slight U-turn – subsequently many are shoppers enjoying the experience of visiting a high street or shopping centre in conjunction with shopping online.
Both aspects of shopping experience give different positives and constraints. Whilst high street shops may carry stock that isn’t in their online stock catalogue, bricks and mortar stores also provide the opportunity to reserve items and collect straight away. Physical shops also allow the opportunity to view and touch the product, to inspect the quality, the colour and measure the size – in contrast some of these aspects can still be a struggle for consumers when ordering online.
Alternatively ordering online still proves to be very popular and provides many benefits. Ordering late at night for next day orders, delivery to the home or place of work and free return options, all saves time for those that are too busy to visit their local high street regularly or for those who prefer to compare brands, designs and price across many different stores.
Is ordering online still a more popular option during post-pandemic?
The answer is that customers are looking for both options! Not one size fits all and so enjoying a browse online and / or a browse in store can be extremely helpful in making purchasing decisions.
However, adding digital customer engagements such as real-time online store helpers, live chat and video can replicate the same experience as being physically in a store. Through the use of CX software, retailers are trying to achieve this. The software can add flexibility, saleability, and security to the shopping experience, whilst brands can sustain resilience and brand awareness both out on the high street and through ordering online.
What is great is that consumers are sharing a renewed experience that UK high streets are a great place to enjoy a day out, a shop and something to eat or a coffee and that is something that can’t be captured online.
Calling all online retailers operating e-commerce carts and online shopping experiences. Crendon Insurance provide online retail insurance and Amazon FBA insurance to retail businesses who are looking to protect stock, transport goods or use drop-shipping. To find out how we can support your business further please get in touch or find out more through our online retail insurance website resources.
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