It has been a boost for the implementation of omnichannel and an opportunity to take advantage of the synergies of both formats. In this sense, the integration between e-commerce and stores has become evident and they are giving rise to the new establishments of the future, where the role of the physical store is irrefutable. In this context, there are some aspects that must be taken into account to analyze where retail is going in Spain.
One of them is the integration of physical sales with online ones. Although this trend began years ago in Spain, with the arrival of COVID-19, consumers have demanded more multichannel options to carry out their purchases given the restrictions at the height of the pandemic and the need to integrate sales in both channels is now a reality. As shown in the recovery of inflows and sales once the commercial spaces are reopened, the demand for the physical points of sale is unquestionable. For example, if we compare the figures for this summer with respect to 2020, the influx of Castellana Properties shopping centers in the months of June, July and August have grown by over 24%, reaching increases of 38% in the month of June. Regarding registered sales, they have increased by 11% compared to June and July 2020 and if we compare it with 2019, we came a few months to exceed the pre-COVID figures.
Likewise, it is worth mentioning that Spain does not occupy a prominent position in Euromonitor's e-commerce growth forecasts. In this sense, the firm's forecasts for the penetration rate of e-commerce in the country for 2024 remain at low levels of 8.6%.
Another essential point is the implementation of omnichannel strategies. Finding the perfect synergy is essential to maintain consumer satisfaction and meet existing demand. Therefore, a greater focus on the hybrid store is synonymous with success in the medium term since this new model will preserve the experience in store while offering the distribution sector the possibilities of meeting the needs and expenses of online purchases. Thus, these future hybrid stores will allow a better balance between the shipping costs of direct-to-consumer e-commerce, which has so far proven unprofitable, and fast service thanks to a limited number of stores.
In this sense, from Castellana Properties, we have recently prepared an internal survey with our tenants to corroborate the importance of omnichannel. In it, more than 72% of those surveyed indicate that they will invest in the omnichannel of their premises.
Thus, the physical store, an indispensable player in the 'retail chain' of the future. The facilities offered by the physical store to consumers far exceed the possibilities of online shopping. It is true that both formats have advantages, although the balance is inclined towards the physical store since personalized attention, immediacy, ease of return and the possibilities of seeing the product in situ, among others, are aspects that e-commerce does not it can offer. In addition, it is worth adding the important experiential factor, as well as the social component of going to a physical store.
One in five online purchases begins in a physical store and one in three purchases in a physical store begins in a digital channel, includes the report "Reinvent ourselves or die: the challenges of the customer experience in the Retail sector" by Minsait, a company of Indra. In other words, the information is no longer found in a single device, but the customer uses the different channels indistinctly based on their current conditions: mobile app, web, social networks or point of sale.
Lastly, sustainability gains importance in the purchasing process. Caring for the environment is an important aspect that has gained relevance in recent months. In this sense, the Spanish population is widely aware and it is a factor that consumers take into account when making their purchases. A company with values such as sustainability that offers products that respect the environment and our surroundings or that implements initiatives in this regard will have a positive point when it comes to reaching potential consumers, as well as increasing their loyalty. already existing.