As the COVID-19 restrictions ease, businesses reopen, and consumers move back to in-store shopping. For example, Statista reveals that the number of people intending to visit grocery stores and shopping malls was significantly higher in April than it was in February. There is a specific explanation of this state of affairs. One can state that people prefer to visit offline stores because this practice provides them with positive emotions. It refers to the fact that this approach allows individuals to see, touch, and even try the products that they are going to buy. Consequently, individuals feel agitated and sophisticated when they attend offline shops.
Furthermore, in-store shopping satisfies the individual need to participate in social interactions. This information demonstrates that a few internal influences, including emotions and motives, result in the fact that consumers are willing to attend offline stores following the COVID-19 pandemic.
At the same time, some external influences also make consumers prefer attending offline shops. For example, it refers to the fact that the offline environment is more suitable for returning purchased goods if a consumer understands that buying them was a mistake. This situation refers to post-purchase dissonance when individuals experience remorse for their actions. When offline shops are open, such consumers can visit them and exchange unwanted items or buy new ones. Furthermore, it is not reasonable to forget that in-store shopping has long been a part of the Australian lifestyle. That is why it is possible to mention that external factors also contribute to visiting offline stores.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic shocked the world, there had been opinions that the shopping activities would be performed online because this approach had promised many advantages. However, the crisis has revealed that shoppers are not ready to enter the digital environment entirely. The rationale behind this fact is that people have become accustomed to the existing model of purchasing goods, which offers a few benefits. That is why I believe that the trend of preferring offline stores will continue in Australia and globally. However, this statement does not imply that online experience will not be promoted. I believe that the future of shopping is the combination of online and offline approaches.