Despite the prevalence of big shopping malls like Shoprite, Grandex plus, Justrite and the likes, online shopping continues to become an integrated part of the shopping experience.
From the purchase of high-end fashion items to basic consumptions like food, everyday shoppers are constantly leveraging internet services in different aspect of their daily activities.
During the lockdown, most people took to social media, going on about missing the fun that came with physically going to malls or stores to make purchases.
However, with the lockdown lifted, it would seem that online shopping is back to being the new way forward. Alternatively, is it?
“I like shopping online. But the disadvantages are that, products are usually more expensive coupled with the delivery fee, you are never really sure about the quality, and also the having to wait for product arrival.
Recently, I bought a flowerpot and was disappointed with the delivery because it turned out to be smaller than I wanted” – Treasure, an avid online shopper.
Howbeit the forms of online shopping becoming more and more diversified, those are some of the many problem shoppers have to face whilst shopping online.
In 2020, the number of online buyers in Nigeria was at about 76.7million with a total population of 206 million and 46% online penetration.
This means there are still group of online shoppers who are yet to make purchases online.
Customer shopping preferences are largely determined by series of factors. From the prices of a product, to flexibility, convenience, customer service experience, and product availability.
To keep up with these preferences, retailer –online and offline alike, have to provide more options, blurring the line between in store and online shopping for a combined shopping experience.
“Both online and physical stores are important because it becomes easier to sell online with a physical store…people will trust you easily and it will curb the situation of what you buy versus what you get” – Anita, CEO of Nita store (an online store).
A concept that accommodates this is the “buy online, pick up in store” (BOPUS). BOPUS is considered one of the most valuable aspect of the retail shopping experience for more than four in ten consumers according to according to iVend Retail, a retail management solutions enterprise.
It makes the shopping experience a more convenient journey for the consumers by making purchases at the comfort of one’s home and picking up items whenever is most convenient without having to pay for shipping and waiting for delivery arrival.
In that respect, consumers are confident that if there are any issues with a purchase, they can easily return back to the store where there is a customer representative to attend to them.
Consumers enjoy the flexibility that comes with being able to define how they’re serviced and how they receive goods. For some it’s going to be getting it shipped.
For some it’s going to be wanting to explore. And for others it’s going to be, buy online and pick it up at a store.