Although COVID-19 has greatly increased the pressure on businesses to provide digital shopping options, consumer expert Nimisha Jain shows that the process doesn't have the same "magic" that many associate with in-person shopping.
As Jain points out, in-person shopping gives consumers the chance to really explore a business' offerings—allowing them to take part in a kind of treasure hunt that brings a certain thrill to the process. This, coupled with the social aspect of in-person shopping, has caused many to veer away from online alternatives, which tend to lack the charm and engagement that traditional retail provides.
Jain continues to explain the importance of conversation when it comes to sales, and how the impersonal nature of online shopping has largely led to a decrease in satisfaction, and many missed opportunities for retailers. Though this issue remains prevalent, Jain shows how retailers in India, China, and Thailand have been able to replicate the personalization that in-person shopping brings with a model of "conversational commerce."
As Jain explains, this allows retailers to combine a large-scale online shop with the personalized experience that smaller retail shops provide, giving shoppers the chance to ask questions, tell a sales associate what they like, and receive recommendations that actually suit them. The ways in which retailers can enhance their online shopping experiences is vast, and Jain highlights a world of opportunity in the "new normal" and beyond.