Has the Era of Shopping for Electronics In-Store Come to an End?

As the sale of Curry’s, one of the UK’s leading appliance retailers, unfolds, many retailers are left wondering – are consumers spearheading the decline of traditional white goods and electronic retail outlets in favour of online shopping? As the digital era continues to reshape consumer behaviour, the latest findings from ShipStation’s Ecommerce Delivery Benchmark Report raise questions about the future of traditional in-store electronics shopping and leveraging brick-and-mortar storefronts as part of a broader omnichannel sales strategy.

According to the report, there’s a notable increase in the number of British consumers turning to online platforms to purchase electronics. Only 10% of consumers browse for electronics entirely in-store, and only half of that figure purchases these goods in-store. On the other hand, a whopping 77% of consumers research electronic products online, and 65% will ultimately purchase an electronic item online. This trend underscores a growing preference for the convenience, variety, and accessibility offered by ecommerce. Therefore, it is vital, now more than ever, for SMBs to stay on top of trends and shifting consumer needs and adapt their offerings accordingly.

“The data from our report indicates a shifting landscape in consumer behaviour, particularly in the realm of electronics shopping,” said Matthew Trattles, VP of SMBs at Auctane, parent company of ShipStation, the leading online shipping platform for SMBs. “Brits are increasingly gravitating towards online channels to fulfil these needs, leveraging the ease of comparison shopping, home delivery, and the ability to read reviews from fellow consumers.”

But why are consumers shifting their habits? In today’s retail landscape, convenience reigns supreme. Customers increasingly demand seamless shopping experiences, regardless of their preferred channel – online or in-store. For small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), adapting to this omnichannel reality isn’t just advantageous, it’s essential. The key lies in striking a delicate balance between the physical and digital realms. By embracing the strengths of both the personalised touch of in-store interactions and the speed and ease of online shopping, businesses can effectively cater to evolving customer preferences. For example, in the electronics industry, features like fast delivery options and the convenience of “buy online, pick-up in store” programs demonstrate a commitment to what these consumers are looking for.

However, the customer journey extends beyond the point of purchase. Fulfilment plays a critical role in ensuring customer satisfaction, especially for those who do the majority of their shopping and selling online. That’s where platforms like ShipStation come in. ShipStation offers SMBs a comprehensive solution for managing and fulfilling orders across various channels. Through features like automated order processing, customisable shipping options, and real-time tracking, ShipStation streamlines the fulfilment process. This ensures orders are shipped quickly and accurately, freeing up valuable resources for SMBs to focus on core business activities. By integrating ShipStation, SMBs can deliver a seamless shopping experience from start to finish, fostering customer loyalty and ultimately driving business growth.