If you think shopping online is cheaper than shopping in-store, then think again. Retailers are working hard towards matching the prices online and offline, despite the general consensus that online shopping can save people a lot of money.
“Once upon a time, you’d see the online prices were way lower than retail price. What started to happen over time was that the price gap shrunk,” said Ashish Panjabi, COO of Jacky’s Retail.
The cost of running a brick and mortar store can be considerably greater than for an online store. Factors such as rent, electricity, payroll, and fixtures can contribute to the gross margin and overhead of doing business. But how have the online versus in-store prices started becoming similar and why have people not noticed it?
With various retail arms including electronics, the online retailers have increased the prices far more than physical stores. However, since new products keep coming into the market regularly at varying price points, the increase in prices and margins go unnoticed.
“Prices from the online retailers actually went up far more than the physical retailers. Because of the new models (of phones and electronics) that come in, you don’t notice it. Every time the new model comes in, they reprice it and the chance for recalibrating prices comes in too,” he explained.
Every business aims at profitability and having realised their standing in the market, online retailers started capitalising on it too.
“Ali Baba’s core fundamental was ‘we want you to buy often, and it doesn’t have to be high value’. It was about building the habit of low cost purchases more and more often. And I think a lot of the online retailers and marketplaces here realized the shift in customer focus that’s come in the last one-two years,” he said.
Customer habits and behaviours are changing rapidly and retailers need to adapt to it now more than ever. While there are numerous categories under retail that don’t quite require a physical store, electronics, according to Panjabi, remains one where people still find the need to see, touch and feel to experience the product. Showrooming, for example, is a common practice where customers examine merchandise in a brick and mortar store but make the purchase online. However, more and more customers are now realising the shrinking price gap and preferring to complete the transaction in-store.
“Today, people want the experience of “hey let’s go pick it up over there”. I think the consumer is getting more educated and a lot of the prices are actually getting more uniform today,” he concluded.
The key to a successful omnichannel future
A frictionless omnichannel experience which is predictive, value-focused, and highly personalised isFebruary 16, 2023 | By RetailME Bureau
Scandinavian brand J Lindeberg capitalises on the rise of athleisure to expand in the UAE
J Lindeberg was started by Johan Lindeberg in 1990s with the aimSeptember 2, 2022 | By RetailME Bureau
GAP Inc. delivers on commitment towards building a sustainable, resilient, inclusive business
Amazon KSA doubles storage capacity with a new fulfilment centre in Riyadh
UAE-based diversified business GMG’s Everyday Goods’ retail division has launched its first
Exactly 11 years ago as a freshly minted expat in the UAE
Cereal Partners Worldwide, the maker of Nestlé Breakfast Cereals and a leading
Grocery major Carrefour, owned and operated by Majid Al Futtaim in the
Géant, part of GMG, recently opened two new stores. The brand has
UAE-based diversified family business GMG has launched four state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities in
The growth opportunity for food and grocery retailers during the Holy Month
From value, variety and convenience to philanthropy GMG retail stores, including 16
MAGGI from the house of the Nestlé is all set to launch
What does 2023 look like for consumers in Saudi Arabia? A Nielsen
Dubai-based food & grocery retailer Union Coop has launched its discount campaign
Around eight years ago in 2015 a brand called Fruitful Day was
UAE-based consumer electronics major Jumbo Electronics recently re-opened its store on the
Recently Prince Turki bin Talal Al Saud, Prince of the Asir region
Regional retail conglomerate Apparel Group opened 26 new stores across the UAE,
On April 14 the debut edition of the Great Online Sale will
LG Electronics has unveiled a new, dynamic and youthful brand identity with
Apple is getting ready to open its first two stores in India
e& (formerly known as Etisalat Group) is investing $400 million in the
Expo 2020 Dubai and its legacy are expected to contribute AED154.9 billion
Careem has decided to pause its grocery, food and other delivery services
Homegrown premium chocolatier Patchi reopened its revamped flagship boutique at Dubai Mall.
Airport retailer Dubai Duty Free announced its contribution of AED20 million towards
The ninth Retail Leaders Circle MENA Summit discussed how the sector can