In recent years, online channels have dominated the market by serving various advantages directly to the customer’s plate. With the evolution of advanced technology and the availability of digital devices to most of the public in the country, things have become easier. Online channels are preferred over traditional channels due to their convenience in directly delivering products to the customer's doorstep with minimal effort and time. While online channels offer undeniable advantages, they do not completely replace the physical channels.
Traditional channels are seemingly more trustworthy to customers. Despite the convenience offered by online channels, not everyone is satisfied with their online purchases. In physical stores, having an individual provide assurance about the product builds trust and encourages customers to visit the store frequently.
Accessibility for offline channels is unlimited as individuals can directly visit the physical stores to purchase products. In contrast, online channels may result in geographic disparities for certain products. Offline channels foster stronger relationships as it solely revolves around face-to-face interactions between parties resulting in a deeper understanding of the individual’s wants and needs. By enabling interaction between the company and customer, offline channels provide a level of flexibility that online channels do not offer.
Offline channels are designed to offer customers a brand experience. While some products may not necessarily require brand experience and tangibility, the engagement with the product in person allows individuals to make choices more easily. This is not the same with online channels and it lacks the user experience factor and can lead to customer’s confusion in product selection.
Although online channels are convenient in terms of the minimal effort and time, it does not mean that the online channels are superior to the traditional avenues. With a balanced integration of offline and online channels, it results in optimum satisfaction between the customer and the retailer, ultimately expanding the market reach.