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Study: Digital buyers still prefer shopping in-store

Despite the ease of online shopping with endless choices and items magically appearing at your door, most consumers still prefer purchasing items in-store.

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Brick and mortar ain’t dead yet

Despite the ease and convenience of shopping online, modern consumers still value the experience of shopping in a physical store, according to a recent study by ecommerce consultants B2C Partners. Just as the Kindle and other e-readers have failed to replace books, as literature buffs just can’t give up the feel of the pages in hand, online shoppers still enjoy going to brick-and-mortar retail locations to make purchases.

While respondents listed several reasons why they still enjoyed shopping in stores, a full 71 percent reported that they simply enjoyed the “excitement” of in-store shopping.


Complementing over competing

According to eMarketer’s report on the research, physical stores and digital marketplaces “complement each other at least as much as they compete.” Survey respondents touted the conveniences of shopping online while also acknowledging undeniable benefits of shopping in the store.

For example, 84 percent of respondents said that they “enjoy the efficiency of digital shopping combined with the touch and feel of the retail store experience.”

Clicking “buy” doesn’t beat a smile or trying out the product

Although a shopper can find a lot of information about products online, there are still some obvious benefits to handling the products in person before purchasing. Nearly three quarters of respondents said that they found a knowledgeable salesperson helpful when making buying decisions, and also that they liked to try out or try on complicated products before purchasing. Another 70 percent appreciated in-store services, such as alterations and repairs.

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Consumers prefer to research online, then pick up in-store

While most shoppers in the survey found that shopping online and shopping in the store complemented one another, there were distinct advantages to each. Respondents said that internet shopping was helpful for focusing in and learning about particular items, while stores were better for getting a quick overview of available products.

Many respondents said they liked to research and choose products online, but that it was easier and more efficient to pick up the products on the store, rather than wait for them to arrive in the mail.

Still a positive outlook for digital integration

In-store and digital shopping experiences are slowly but surely becoming more and more integrated as shops begin incorporating digital technologies into the shopping experience. Customers are excited about technologies that will help them locate the items they are looking for within the store. Research also shows that customers are eager to skip lines at the cash register by using their mobile devices to check out.


Ellen Vessels, a Staff Writer at The American Genius, is respected for their wide range of work, with a focus on generational marketing and business trends. Ellen is also a performance artist when not writing, and has a passion for sustainability, social justice, and the arts.

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  1. Pingback: This app alerts you when items you like online are available in stores - The American Genius

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