on 23-08-2018 12:09
The internet makes almost everything accessible now, and you can get what you need delivered to your door, at a convenient time, wherever you live: as a result, it's a challenge for stores nowadays to find ways to stay relevant.
A recent article on the O2 Business Blog discussed how retail stores are evolving from simply a shop to a full personalised experience, giving customers a reason to visit in person rather than to do it all online. This could be done in various ways, and here are a few examples of current and future in-store O2 experiences:
- VR tours of O2’s biggest and best locations, like the world-renowned Haçienda nightclub in Manchester
- Instructor-led fitness classes to test the full capabilities of our fitness technology
- Movie launches, interactive DJ deck sessions and live music performances
- Device set-up, optimisation and troubleshooting – plus hands-on demonstrations of new products
All stores have the potential to create such experiences; here are just a few more ideas:
- Department stores showing customers how an outfit would look with Augmented Reality
- Car showrooms offering a preview of new models in Virtual Reality (VR)
- Supermarkets live-streaming cooking demonstrations from another store
- Video game stores bringing players together on multi-platform challenges
- DIY stores using apps to match paint choices with furnishings
- Record shops offering music fans exclusive content from bands and artists
What makes you buy online or in-store? Is there something that makes you go back to a store, or want to?
It'd be very interesting to hear your experiences and views on this
23-08-2018 13:21 - edited 23-08-2018 13:25
I used to love going into stores to shop, with the exception of the supermarket which I always found a chore. But I was able-bodied then. Now, being disabled, online shopping is a godsend. I can do my food shopping, buy clothes, phone and tablet accessories, books, dvd/blu rays, music etc all on line and either have it delivered to my door or posted to me. In fact, there's nothing you can't buy on line, so you need never enter a store again.
I appreciate the competition is killing the High Street. And that's a real shame. But personally if I never have to enter a shop again, I'd not miss it. And, honestly, there's nothing a store could offer that would entice me in. I love shopping on line and would probably do it even if I wasn't disabled.
on 23-08-2018 13:39
I have never liked shopping instore. I have friends who make a special trip to big shopping outlets like Manchester or Brents Cross. They have stopped asking me as my reply was always the same 'I would rather stick pins in my eyes'
I have a saying...'if it can't be bought online, it doesn't get bought'
I shop online for groceries, books, clothes, flights, holidays, presents for Birthday and Christmas etc etc etc.
I must be one of Amazons best customers.
Yes, it's a shame that online shopping is causing the demise of the High Street, though in all honesty I can do without the hassle of the crowds, people blocking my way with pushchairs and mobility scooters and queues at checkouts.
For me, a couple of clicks on my PC gets me exactly what I want....
on 23-08-2018 19:14
I feel sorry for the ladies and gents in retail and perhaps the only shop I occasionally like a wander round is John Lewis.
Apart from that I tend to know exactly what I want so can just order it.
I also don't like being sold to when it comes to tech products because it is my interest and my job and am not likely to buy what is recommended so it's going to be disappointing for the sales representative on both a personal and possibly financial level so why put myself or them through it?
When I was at school I did two weeks work experience as a sales assistant at a now defunct electrical retailer.
I wasn't paid of course but at the time the basic pay of the staff was low and it was all about commission on both the product itself and even more so on extended warranties.
I was put onto audio visual which is my other passion apart from computing but I'd only recommend reasonably priced stuff that did what the customer wanted and I wouldn't push the extended warranties at all.
People did buy 'from me' and a couple did comment it was a more pleasurable experience than they were expecting but I knew then I could never go into sales myself.
I think I've been into an O2 store twice but I knew exactly what I was after and that I wanted it on PAYG, they didn't have the stock so it was a no sale unfortunately for them.
I know that O2 and others are moving toward offering experiences to drive the sales process but there will always be people like myself that aren't swayed by such things.
on 24-08-2018 11:12
It sounds like you all agree that buying online is best for practical reasons mainly, and comfort. I also don't like crowds so I do a lot of online purchases ... however there are some things that I'd rather buy in a store. Clothes, furniture, candles, to name a few - I can't get myself to order them without first seeing them in person. I know there is the option to return things from online purchases in most cases, but I'm quite lazy and end up keeping the items I don't fully like or use rather than returning them if ordered online. Practicality aside, are there any items you'd rather get in store if you had the opportunity?
on 24-08-2018 11:34
I wouldn't buy a suite of furniture without seeing and trying it. Same for a bed/mattress.
However, I did paint and decorate the whole house with stuff bought online. Including curtains and other soft furnishings.
on 24-08-2018 12:35
My present telly was ordered over the phone, and my DVR was purchased in-store. But it's replacement and a new telly will be bought online, like my blu-ray player all through John Lewis.
The thing with shopping online is you have to have some idea of what it is you want, the same as going in-store.
I've been into an O2 store a few times but again, like @Cleoriff I went in with something specific in mind. Now I buy over the phone through Business Customer Services. I got my last 2 phones and my pop-up hotspot speaking with Customer Services and I've never been disappointed. But, I definitely wouldn't buy any O2 products online knowing they don't have a live stock ordering system. I've read enough customer complaints on here to put me off.
05-09-2018 10:38 - edited 05-09-2018 10:40
Sometimes the best deals are to be found online, but I think that it’s a sad consequence for the high street, that many shops are struggling to stay in business, because they can’t compete with those online retailers. Nowadays shops are often used to give customers an opportunity to have a closer look at the latest products, before they order it online at a discounted price. It must be soul-destroying working in retail sometimes
But I’ve always enjoyed walking through modern shopping malls, and quaint old arcades. Even if I’m just window shopping, I can spend hours browsing, and it’s almost a pastime in itself. Online shopping has its advantages, but if it’s mainly about cost cutting, then that’s a worrying trend for the future of the high street.
on 05-09-2018 11:16
I agree @Ian_ it is a shame what online shopping is doing to the high street. For me online shopping is less about saving money but more about convenience. The ability to shop in my own home without having to travel, put up with crowds, people shouting on their mobiles, screaming children is bliss. Also not being able to walk very far or stand for long, the days of my strolling through department stores are long over.
Excluding Amazon the largest online retailer, many of the large retailers offer online shopping: M&S, John Lewis, Boots, , Debenhams, Waitrose to name but a few, as they realised this was the future of shopping.
Yes, online shopping is killing the high street. Whether it's cost or convenience, or a combination of both, it is the future. And sadly more and more shops will close, especially the smaller shops that just can't compete. And even the large shops like M&S are closing branches as more and more people go online to shop. It's only John Lewis and Waitrose that haven't resorted to closing branches. In fact, Waitrose opens new shops as people still like to see the food they buy.
on 05-09-2018 11:48
I'm a weirdo. I never liked shopping in the high street when I was fit and able.
It was great when in nursing and my days off were midweek. I could then go into town without the crowds and browse as much as I wanted. Though I admit I didn't do much browsing. I knew what I wanted, so it was a trip to town, get the things I wanted and get home.
The only thing I rarely buy online are plants for my garden. I will happily take a trip to a garden centre and browse for ages to get the right things. Having said that, I have bought some unusual shrubs, bushes and trees online.
The convenience of online shopping far outweighs the stress of travelling to town, finding a parking space and pulling my arms and shoulders 'out', also damaging my back by dragging heavy bags from shop to shop
The only shopping outlets I enjoyed were the Florida Malls. Most of my favourite authors are American and it was great to be able to get books which hadn't been released in the UK. They were also far cheaper.