Since the Internet first became mainstream, I have heard stories about the “death of traditional retail.” Analysts and industry pundits have long predicted how traditional brick-and-mortar retailers would ‘go the way of dinosaur’ in favor of their online counterparts.

A recent Engageware research report, The State of Retail, suggests that these opinions are far from the reality by shedding light on consumers

Despite the hype around e-commerce and online shopping, consumers still look to shop in the physical store. Engageware’s study investigates consumer preferences and features data collected from a survey of over 1,000 consumers focusing on their perceptions and habits around retail shopping.

Here are some of the highlights:

  • Consumers prefer Brick & Mortar over Online Stores: More than 70% of consumers would prefer to shop a brick & mortar Amazon store versus
  • In-store expertise drives purchase volume: 90% of consumers are more likely to buy when helped by a knowledgeable associate
  • In-store purchasing preferences span generations: 92% of responding millennials plan to shop in-store in 2015 as often or more than they did in 2014
  • Mobile purchasing is slow to grow: Only 13% of respondents have previously made a purchase using a mobile device

The survey data suggests that consumer retail shopping trends are favoring the brick-and-mortar model, despite perceptions that the rise of e-tailers would jeopardize the physical retail store. One Inc. article points out that even traditional e-tailers such as Amazon and Warby Parker are realizing the importance of the in-store experience as they open physical locations.

The findings of the report are clear: Consumers prefer buying in-store vs online. Given this information, the study suggests that retailers employ an omni-channel strategy that converts an initial online inquiry into a high-value, in-store experience. Once in the store, retailers must give customers prompt service with a knowledgeable store associate.

Photo attribution: Public.Resource.Org, Used under a creative commons license

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