Why the "in-between" is crucial right now

Right now, your customers no longer want to have to choose between online and stationary shopping - they want an in-between.

Find out:

  • What has changed for your customers in brick-and-mortar stores?
  • Why do you need to offer your customers an “in-between”?
  • How can you create an “in-between” for your customers?
Reading time: 4 minutes

Even before the Corona crisis, the trend towards online shopping away from brick-and-mortar retail became clearer and was further strengthened by the crisis. We are all already aware that this is not a temporary trend. Not only does the risk of infection deter customers from longer shopping trips, but the contact restrictions also prevent them from sharing the shopping experience with others. With contactless solutions, you can create an experience in-between pure online shopping and shopping in your store and prevail against the great online competition.

Our “old brick-and-mortar shopping” has changed

With the crisis came the first lockdown for brick-and-mortar retail, stores had to be temporarily closed. Although 25% of respondents of a German Trendmonitor study are happy that they can finally shop back in stores, this mood has also been depressed. With the reopening of the stores, not only has the hygiene concept in brick-and-mortar retail changed, but also the changed purchasing behavior and the new purchasing trends of customers became clearer. 66% of the consumers surveyed said that they simply lost the fun of brick-and-mortar shopping. The compulsory mouth-nose masks scare the Germans’ purchases in shops in particular. Already 45% say that for this very reason they shop less frequently in local shops than they have done before. When consumers shop, the trend is more towards thrift, away from spontaneous impulse purchases, especially because of their own job and future uncertainty. Precisely because strolling, as we know it, is no longer possible in our inner cities with bans on contact and the current closures of the gastronomy.

Your customers expect a more social shopping experience in-between

At the beginning of the year, consumers were more satisfied with the stationary shopping experience than with the online one. Now with the Corona crises, the tide has turned faster than we wanted, because stationary customers currently lack the usual experience. When we think about why we like to shop in our inner cities, it is the social, the time together with others. We do not just go to the city on our own, we meet with our family and friends for shopping. We want to enjoy the time, stroll a bit, have a coffee in the café around the corner and just advise each other – whether it’s clothes or the gifts for the upcoming Christmas. When we look into our inner cities right now, we still see people shopping, but mostly alone or at most in pairs. It’s no longer a stroll, but rather the making of quick purchases. There is no fun, no coming together. Especially during the first lockdown it has been shown that digital solutions, such as voice messengers and video chats can help a bit to bring us back together. These digital contactless technologies can also help you as a retailer to help customers relive a shopping experience between online and offline. The demand for contactless technology is there, according to a study, 77% of customers want to use more contactless technologies now and in the period after that.

Convince your customers again with “In-between solutions”

With contactless solutions, you can offer your customers the security they are looking for right now, especially in brick-and-mortar retail. In a survey, 46% of respondents said they would prefer a brick-and-mortar store with automation solutions to pure online retail. Right now, give your customers the opportunity to contact and interact with yours from their safe home at any time, to get advice from you and to be supported in their purchase decision. Also, return the personal character to your advice online by allowing your customers to contact you via voice message or live chat. You may even go beyond it and incorporate Augmented Reality (AR) into your customer interaction. Offer your customers the opportunity to combine the stationary shopping experience with the security and convenience of online shopping with omnichannel solutions. By continuing to enable your customers to reserve their products online in your store, you continue to offer a comfortable, targeted, if shortened, stationary shopping experience. Start to give your customers a real shopping experience not only online or on-side, but in between.

Markus Demirci

Founder & CEO mPocket

A shopping experience for your customers ‘in-between