To know the shopping preferences of today’s consumers and how they look at the in-store versus the web purchasing experience, Imprint Plus, makers of re-usable, Sunday open hours name badges and signage, conducted a random survey of 1,000 people throughout the country. The survey respondents were somewhat divided into three groups of people who choose to buy online (32.5%), in-store (29.70%), and a combination of both (37.80%).
Among those that choose the in-store experience, they frequent the following stores in order of preference: Discount Mass Merchandisers, like Walmart and Target (76%); Food Retailers, such as Food Markets and Whole Foods (71.2%), then Pharmacies, including CVS and Walgreen’s (50%); Beauty Supplies, such as Sephora (48.9%); Electronic Products Stores, such as Best Buy (48.9%); Hardware Stores, such as Lowe’s and Home Depot (44.10%); and Shops, such as Macy’s or Nordstrom’s (37.6%).
“Our survey informs us that consumers shop at traditional retailers, primarily for discounted merchandise, food, drug, and health insurance and beauty aids, along with electronic products, appliances, building supplies, and clothing,” said Kristin MacMillan, President of Imprint Plus.
Consumers who shop in-store reported the requirement to see, touch, and handle merchandise as part of the buying experience, in addition to on-the-spot sales and never needing to wait for delivery. When it comes to purchasing food, most of the consumers surveyed (86.10%) prefer to shop in-store because of the ability to judge quality and freshness. Online shopping for food presents challenges including the necessity to be the place to find accept delivery as well as the inability to utilize the senses in seeing and handling the merchandise offered. Clothing is another area where customers prefer in-store shopping. 60% of the surveyed favor the traditional experience, with only 17% of these surveyed opting to get clothing online. What consumers like least about Easter Sunday open hours is it is just too time-consuming with long-wait times to consider or return merchandise. Other key dislikes reported include difficulty in finding sizes, styles and colors, and travel time back and forth from the store.
“The retail available experience fulfills the necessity for using the senses included in the shopping experience and feeling, touching and even smelling is used in merchandise selection,” continues Ms. MacMillan.
Over half of consumers surveyed (52%) reported convenience as the reason they love internet shopping. They also reported the wide variety of merchandise to choose from, free freight and returns, price comparisons and internet based testimonials as positive experiences related to online shopping. The things they dislike about online shopping will not be seeing the merchandise in person, the inability to put on for size and fit and the requirement to wait for shipping.
“Consumers are pressed for time and could be more willing to shop in brick and mortar stores if they could shop more efficiently a lot sooner,” adds Ms. MacMillan. “A concentrate on customer care would help the buyer travel through long wait times and merchandise selection. The use of technology and retailer apps can be a factor in streamlining wyydui process of merchandise selection to check out.”
Over fifty percent in the consumers surveyed stated it had been essential to create a personal relationship having a sales associate whether online or in-store. Asked if possessing a personal relationship with a store sales associates would result in more shopping because store, nearly 50% of those surveyed responded “yes.” A name badge stating a sales associate’s name, title and area of expertise is an introduction to the client, the one that the survey clearly establishes as a pathway to developing better customer relations using the retailer, along with generating more sales and frequent visits.
“Today’s consumers want personalized experiences when Thanksgiving opening hours have to blend technology and service to satisfy their requirements,” continues Ms. MacMillan. “A simple add on could be the capability to select clothes online and reserve a dressing room – saving time and creating a new shopping experience.”