Continuing Consumer Behavior: Browse Online, Then Buy In-Store



091516

Perhaps you have heard of “showrooming,” the tendency of consumers to look at items in a physical store and then buy them online. These days, people are flipping this behavior on its face, opting to peruse products with clicks of the mouse but ultimately making their purchases in brick-and-mortar shops. This surprising turnabout is worth exploring.

Who Are Today’s Trend-Setting Shoppers?

The younger generation of buyers seem to be the people who are driving this phenomenon. Millennials, those aged roughly 18 to 34, are demonstrating a marked preference of seeing and touching a product before they choose to commit by putting their plastic in a credit card reader and spending money.

Although they are not averse to online shopping, these consumers generally spend the majority of their cash in physical storefronts. This is particularly the case when online merchants tack on high shipping and handling charges to the cost of the goods they sell.

What Does This Mean for Retailers?

If you want your products to be scooped up by this up-and-coming cohort of customers, it behooves you to take advantage of their buying tendencies. Don’t simply focus on one channel for distributing your goods or services. If you have a retail shop, make an equally serious commitment to developing and maintaining a dynamic e-commerce site. If that means hiring someone to do it for you, it’s an investment worth making.

If, on the other hand, you wrap up most of your sales online, consider making a foray into the exciting world of fairs, bazaars, farmer’s markets and trade shows. In these venues, customers can do much more than view what you have to offer via a monitor or the screen on their tablet. They can speak to you while feeling and looking at the wares they are thinking of buying.

These days, shopping behaviors seem to be as fluid and unique as the consumers who exhibit them. As a business owner, it is definitely in your best interest to meet your buyers’ preferences in whatever ways they manifest. The more multi-channel you are and the more flexible you can be, the better your chances of locking in a loyal customer base. Since millennials are destined to be influencing buying trends for decades to come, catering to their preferences could be one of the smartest business decisions you ever make.