Insights: The EGC Blog

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One week from today, retailers will be embracing a new trend among consumers, known as “nonline” shopping. In The EGC Group’s latest research report, titled How to Prepare for the First “Nonline” Retail Season: Top Trends and Takeaways for this 2012 Holiday Retail Season, we learn that more consumers than ever will be using their smartphones and tablets to compare prices while in-store, allowing them to view the product in person while getting the best bang-for-their-buck. During Black Friday weekend, this trend could be a serious detriment to brick-and-mortar retailers.

With the help of technology, consumers now have the upper hand in what has traditionally been a retailer-dominated power dynamic. Customers can use a store simply as a showroom where they can view and test products that they will later buy online for a better price. Not surprisingly, this nonline trend has been frustrating for retailers who must now struggle to compete with websites like Amazon.com, BestBuy.com, and WalMart.com.

EGC suggests a variety of measures that store owners can take to salvage their sales. The most obvious next step would be for retailers to lower their prices to be more competitive; however, many retailers simply cannot afford to do so. EGC also suggests that retailers can offer free shipping to customers upon the arrival of out-of-stock items. The report notes: “Experts report that free shipping is the biggest draw for a consumer to shop your brand or product, and has become expected by most consumers.”

Lastly, if a retailer has an associated online shopping portal, it is important for the store’s special offers to be consistent with the online offers. If your retail channels are out of sync, your brand is out of sync. This nonline shopping trend has proved – more than ever before – that the digital space and the physical store have merged. After all, today’s consumer could be shopping in your store, on your website, or even both at the same time.

Click here to download the full report.

Written by Justin Lashley, Business Development Manager