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Online Grocery Stores Vs Offline Grocery Stores

During the last decade, online shopping had started to become very relevant and especially, since Covid-19, online shopping has increased manifolds, as the social distancing has become the new normal.

Sugandh Bhatnagar
Online shopping
Grocery Store

During the last decade, online shopping had started to become very relevant and especially, since Covid-19, online shopping has increased manifolds, as the social distancing has become the new normal. 

Before the pandemic, most of the working population of the metro cities used to shop online after their office hours but preferred to shop for groceries at their most trusted neighborhood stores. Now, large section of the population is depending on the online grocery shopping sites.  

The battle of online vs offline shopping used to be a never-ending affair but today online shopping seems to be the undisputed way forward. 

Let’s have a look at the major Factors that affect the Online Shopping Behavior of the Customers: 

Personal touch and emotions: The Brick-and-Mortar stores offer a totally different shopping experience, than online shopping. Shopping from your neighborhood kirana stores involves a personal touch and emotions whereas online shopping stores offer a freedom of choices.  

Risk: When a customer orders from online sites the major cause of their concern is quality and timely delivery of the product. Customer buying from offline stores gets their products as soon as they pay for it and this results in the instant gratification. Hence, there is a risk associated with the online shopping experience in this regard. 

Convenience and choices: Online shopping is much more convenient than offline shopping. We can buy the product of our interest from the comfort of our homes instead of taking out our vehicle and visit shop to shop. The online payment process is also seamless and the order is delivered at our door step. There is a lot of choices while shopping online without having to deal with the dealers and distributors. The kind of variety that the customer gets online is very hard to match any product purchased offline. And variety is the foremost factor which influences the buying behavior of the customers. It has been observed that the people whose income is more tend to shop more online. 

Anxiety and Experiences: People’s anxiety of exploring the sites and experimenting over them is also a matter of concern. Online shopping is for the technologically literate people. Both good and bad experiences of people while shopping online have different effects on their minds and dictate their future preferences. It depends on the customer perception whether they trust a particular site and its products and services. It is due to this reason most of the big companies such as Grofers and Bigbasket invest a lot of resources to create a good shopping experience for their customers. 

Pricing: Online retailers get an inherent advantage as they don’t have to bear the expenses like store rent, electricity bills etc. So, they can generally offer a lower price to the customers than offline shopping that is the best tactic to drive the traffic towards online shopping as the market is very price competitive.  

Discounts & Offers: Apart from offering lower prices, most online shopping sites come up with discount offers. This entails customers to get additional savings while buying products online. The offline stores usually offer discounts during stock clearance. 

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