The Shifting Relationship Between Customers and Apparel Stores

The growing prevalence of online stores is changing the way customers approach shopping experiences. Many are turning toward the internet for their retail needs, while others are finding new ways to combine in-store experiences with online offerings to get the best of both worlds. Understanding your place in the new retail landscape will help you cater to your customers, wherever they are.

The Shift Toward Online Shopping

apparel relationship

The popularity of online shopping is on the rise . According to the National Retail Federation, while retail sales as a whole are expected to increase up to 4.2 percent in 2017, online retail will grow as much as 12 percent. Online shopping is the biggest driver in retail growth, giving businesses a compelling reason to offer their wares online. Buying online gives consumers access to more options and makes comparison shopping faster than ever. From big-box behemoths to small niche entrepreneurs, everyone is finding a place in the online landscape.

Reservations About Shopping Online

While there's no question that the majority of shoppers will make at least some of their purchases online, there are still barriers to online shopping that drive customers back to brick-and-mortar stores. Sixty-two percent of shoppers choose stores over online shopping, so they can see, touch, and try products before purchasing them. This is particularly true among women, who are more likely to seek out a sensory experience with items before taking them home. Shoppers want to feel how soft the wool is before buying a sweater and see how jeans hug their curves in a dressing room.

Online retailers can overcome some of these challenges by providing detailed product descriptions and a wealth of photos. Offering free returns and exchanges can help apparel retailers reassure their customers.

Another popular reason for choosing stores over online shopping is the immediacy of the purchase. Men in particular are driven by the desire for instant gratification. Nearly half of shoppers choose stores over websites because they can take items home immediately. Quick, free shipping from online retailers may help win over some of these shoppers who hate to wait.

Related to speed of purchase, customers also tend to worry about how quickly they might receive an online apparel order. To address this concern, sellers need to use a centrally located 3PL . Customers will be willing to wait only three days to receive an order, and The Apparel Logistics Group can reach markets on both coasts within that timeframe by being situated right in Texas.

Where Online and In-Person Collide

Consumers are increasingly finding ways to blend online and in-store shopping as their relationships with brick-and-mortar retailers evolve. During the 2016 holiday season , two-thirds of survey respondents indicated that they had plans to shop online, then purchase in stores. Half of respondents wanted to make some of their purchases by shopping in store and buying online.

With smartphones in hand, shoppers can use online features to enhance their in-store experiences by comparing prices, reading reviews, and checking product availability. Fifty-seven percent of customers are more likely to make an in-store purchase if they get push notification about products and deals while they're in the store. Leveraging mobile technology can help you bring the benefits of online features into your store environment.

Understanding the relationship between shoppers and retail stores will help you position your products to draw new buyers in. Whether you're reaching in-store shoppers on their smartphones or using speedy shipping to make online sales, you can find a smart way to improve the buying experience.

If you're interested in finding out how TALG can help you improve your customers’ shopping experience with apparel 3PL fulfillment services, request a consultation from TALG online now.

Posted: 7/27/2017 2:21:36 PM by Global Administrator | with 0 comments

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