online vs offline shopping

Consumers like to stroll and browse products in a physical store or mall. They prefer touching, smelling, and sensing the items, but the COVID-19 pandemic turned the tables in favor of e-commerce. The impact is more visible in online shopping vs offline shopping statistics. Different variables like type of business, nature of products, working hours, customer limits, and daily sales count help you understand where online shopping is taking more control over the conventional methods.

Offline Vs. Online Shopping

Offline shopping thrives by the physical presence of customers. Crowding is also a noticeable feature in this mode of commerce. You can find large congregations near bars, restaurants, malls, and cinema theatres. But pandemic shopping is a different ball game.   

Social distancing led to the disappearance of crowding. The number of visitors to various shopping and entertainment sites is also dwindling. A store that made at least 50 to 60 deals per day is currently struggling. It can barely manage 10 to 12 transactions despite working for 10 hours.

Web stores and digital shops are capitalizing on the new trend. Online shopping during pandemic rose sharply due to access to mobile phones and digital payment options. A customer can sit at home and order a wide variety of products.

Failing Tactics of Offline Stores

Cities that went into lockdown and curfews lack entertainment and access. To bridge the online vs offline shopping gap, physical stores are trying out new tactics. But these attempts are not bearing much fruit despite the retailer’s best efforts.

  • Shops kept open on weekends to capitalize on eased restrictions.
  • A significant focus on social distancing at shops to reduce infection risk.
  • Only a fixed number of customers get entry into the premises at a given time.
  • Prices on various products cut by 30% to 50% to lure in the buyers.
  • Home deliveries of groceries and other essentials promised and honored with guaranteed social distancing.
  • Fresh stock from local markets to encourage and promote physical market visits.

But the online shopping vs offline shopping battle is going in favor of the former. Customers are still wary about visiting malls, movie halls, and eateries. The strict adherence to hygiene and distancing roles is taking away the fun. Customers are displaying a distinct lack of enthusiasm. The discount offers, stock clearances, and freebies are not pushing interest in the customers.

Yes, online vs offline shopping statistics are not entirely negative. The sporting accessories, vehicles, and clothing business show some promise. But the figures point to an apparent decrease in sales by almost 40%. Tighter inventory control and the labor shortage are not helping the offline sales either.

Some businesses are taking proactive measures for higher profits. They retrain labor, accept phone bookings and orders, and offer video demonstrations. But restrictions and customer hesitancy are not even bringing in loyal customers. 

Online Sales Boom

The online shopping vs offline shopping statistics is clear and decisive. E-commerce is rising sharply, and the best online retailers are cashing in on the new trend. The giant marketplaces restructured their supply chain mechanisms to maintain healthy inventories.

One international report suggests that 92% of customers shifted to web stores because of this pandemic. Of course, they dwell mainly in cities and towns with efficient Internet connectivity. But because of mobile penetration, retail and consumer product sales will grow further.

In large developing countries, digital retail is only 3.5% of the market share, but the total worth is at $800 million. Due to changing consumer behavior, e-retail giants are all set to reach new heights.

Factors Determining the Offline vs Online Shopping Battle

E-commerce is winning the battle due to enhanced digital experience. Yes, COVID-19 played a significant role in shifting trends, but online shopping during a pandemic is not just because of government restriction. Here are some of the other reasons why online shopping is increasing during this pandemic.

Panic Buying

The pandemic shopping due to panic did not show any continuity. It took off during March of 2020 and petered off in no time. Yes, groceries and some types of clothing and masks did sell like hotcakes. But in one survey, 57% of females and 62% of males responded negatively to panic buying. Although virus concerns are affecting everyone, they are not focusing on panic shopping.

Those who participated only stocked up on essentials like cereals, flour, pasta, noodles, masks, etc. Gradually, people took to buying websites. They believed that instead of panic buying, they could buy it whenever they want since the online stores have high availability.                            

Online Safety

Online shopping vs offline shopping choice’s main pointer is safety concerns. In one survey, 5 out of 10 respondents said digital transactions are safe. But only 1 of the respondents replied in the negative, while the others were not very sure.

But growing markets have a potential of 300 to 400 million new customers. Unfortunately, offline stores can only guarantee payment and product safety. They cannot change the pandemic fears and concerns of buyers. So, online stores are capitalizing on offering safe and diverse payment modes.

Generational Shift

In the developing world, millennial youth are enthusiastic about e-commerce. The online vs offline shopping trends are usually direct to young buyers. Since aged individuals have higher chances of contracting the disease, Generation X and Baby Boomers also joined the online trend. Online stores capitalized on this by creating prompts on the site for first-time buyers, larger font sizes, immediate delivery, etc.

Gender Bias

Women are concerned about the pandemic, but men’s shopping behaviors altered more. Men prefer online experiences, subscriptions, and no shop pick-ups. Surveys show 36% of men altered experience shopping as compared to 28% of women. Also, 33% of men modified their expenses, while only 25% of women did so.

Subscription Model               

Online vs offline shopping statistics include digital subscriptions and demand for online entertainment as an important factor. Shoppers can subscribe to daily use items and monthly entertainment products on the Internet. Food and dairy product sales grew between 124% and 300%.

In conclusion, brick and mortar businesses are on the wane. Online retail and digital commerce have a higher probability of dominating the next decade. This change will not die when the pandemic wades away. Experts believe that customers are more likely to become accustomed to the benefits of online shopping.