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What leads consumers to decide whether to buy online or offline?




The reasons are very similar in both cases: savings, variety, comfort and experience

The current consumer is multichannel, and is willing to buy through all kinds of ways: from the traditional store to the computer, from the mobile app to social networks. What he wants, however, is to be able to decide at any time and place what channel he wants to use on that occasion to get the desired product.

But what leads you to opt for ecommerce or, conversely, to go to the store? A new GfK survey of more than 23,000 buyers from all five continents reveals that the motivations for choosing one option or another are actually very similar.

One of the main reasons that consumers are betting on online shopping is the possibility of saving money, since through the Internet it is possible to compare and access a large number of retailers, and also to those who propose real bargains. In fact, the economic saving is one of the main factors that pushes to buy online, and that was considered by 55% of the respondents.

But they also valued the ease of buying (28% believe it is important to be able to buy at any time and place, just at the click of a button), a wider variety of products (26%) or a quick purchase %). In addition, 21% chose to buy online because they found better information about the products, and another because they had already become accustomed to buying online.

However, 4 of those 5 motivations were also behind the physical purchases, which shows that finally, the motivations to buy are always the same, what changes, according to the occasion, is the channel that best responds to those motivations.

With a clear exception: the main cause for choosing to shop was the ability to see, touch and test items before they were purchased, something that the online universe could not compete with, and which was considered the key to the offline experience For 51% of users.

However, 33% also preferred online shopping because it was simpler (you do not need any device within your reach, you see, you see and you take what you want with little chance of error), and 29% appreciated the ease of returns ; The discomfort of returning a product to mail or courier may be hurting consumers' access to ecommerce.

Moreover, other reasons given to prioritize offline shopping are being accustomed to shopping (28%), better access to information (22%) or saving money by avoiding, for example, the dreaded expenses Of shipping (22%).

Synergies must be created between online and offline worlds.

What this survey demonstrates is that retailers should not focus on the debate about whether online or offline shopping is better, something that consumers should overcome, but should focus on offering the best variety, price, comfort and experience regardless of Channel concerned.

These results have two basic implications: The first is that the motivations to shop online or in physical stores are not as different as you usually think, so retailers should innovate, creating compelling reasons not to send their customers to one Another channel, but simply to make them buy that brand or product. The second is that to be successful in the long term, retailers must create synergies between digital and offline, and not face both worlds.

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Julio Alfonzo
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