This article has been authored by Yogesh Huja, Founder of Freedom Desi
With the increased use of mobile devices and advanced technology, online shopping is increasingly becoming popular in comparison to shopping at physical stores. But what exactly has fuelled the increased purchase of products online rather than in stores? PWC’s Global Retail and Consumer Practice in conjunction with the International Survey Unit conducted a study that would help answer the above question.
The price war
Discounts and reduced prices have always been the biggest crowd pleasers when it comes to retail. Consumers have learned to look forward to specific times of the year when discounts are offered. Online retailers have successfully managed to leverage discounts as a mainstream business model and as such, price has become the biggest factor that drives customers to shop online rather than shop at stores. The survey conducted by PWC indicated that almost half of consumers buy online due to reduced prices and better deals.
Exclusive product launches
It’s normal to walk into a physical store only to walk out disappointed because you couldn’t get what you need. The survey conducted by PWC showed that a third of consumers prefer to shop online because they have access to a wider variety of products. Additionally, 53% of the respondents indicated that the reason they prefer to shop is that particular products are not available in physical stores. The influx of people shopping online has pushed brands to launch their products exclusively with online stores. This trend has been observed across all product categories including fashion, electronics and beauty products.
Greater convenience for shoppers
While a mere 43% admitted that they prefer to shop in-store to get immediate delivery, 69% of the consumers said that they are willing to pay extra for same day delivery and 49% would rather pay for delivery within a pre-agreed timeframe. Delivery has always been one of the most responsibilities that retailers find hard to full fill. The most important differentiation elements when it comes to delivery include convenience reverse logistics, traceability solutions, doorstep delivery and negligible or zero delivery charges. Online retailers have given a whole new meaning to consumer convenience by ensuring that consumers are not only able to shop at any time, but also making it possible for them to receive deliveries at any time and place.
Penetration of mobile devices and internet
Penetration of smart phone use in some areas is growing by 150% annually and the increased penetration of the internet doesn’t seem to slow down. This has fuelled increased online shopping. The report published by PWC showed that the number of consumers who shop using their mobile devices increased by 7% within one year.