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Physical retailers still have advantage over online

Despite the recent collapse of such high street mainstays as Comet, Jessops, HMV and Blockbuster, bricks-and-mortar stores needn't fear the online market, one expert has claimed.

Writing for fourthsource.com, retail and marketing expert Kirill Gorynya explained that despite claims to the contrary, most consumers still prefer visiting a physical store than heading online when it comes to shopping.

Gorynya cited a recent survey commissioned by LivePerson and printed in retailtimes.co.uk, which found that over half (51 per cent) of consumers will abandon their online shopping cart without second thought if they encounter difficulties. In a shop environment, however, with staff there willing to assist, this is significantly less likely to happen.

Furthermore, the same study found that consumers are much more willing to ask for help when it comes to shopping on the high street than when doing so online, meaning that consumers not sure of their exact needs may not find their best option to be e-retail.

"Retailers with physical premises have an advantage over those online because they can use store visits to engage and upsell," Gorynya said.

"This is evidence that the battle of the bricks and mortar retailer isn't a lost cause, and retailers should be optimising the unique opportunities offered by the physical presence of a customer."

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