With the likes of Amazon Prime, Jet.com and the recent free shipping offensive at Walmart and Target, most retail observers have been commenting about brick and mortar survival. “Not true,” according to our recent consumer insight survey. The shopper study reveals despite declines in foot traffic and same-store sales numbers, most consumers still prefer to buy most categories in-store, but on average 80% do research online before doing so.
In a nationwide survey of over 1,200 primary household shoppers, respondents indicated that they prefer making most purchases for everything except toys/games and books in-store. However, for all sixteen categories for which the study surveyed, respondents also said they would do online price comparisons, signaling a true shift to the age of the “channel-less shopper.”
According to the study, consumers noted the bigger the ticket on the item, the more likely they were to research prices online. For example, respondents indicated for items like computers, tablets, electronics and major appliances they were more likely to compare prices online before going in-store to ultimately make a purchase.
Adding yet another dimension, the survey revealed, the rising consumer adoption of mobile, which is especially true in the “digital native” groups where they have never known a world without the internet and online shopping. The study indicated that for those in the 18-20 age group, 40% prefer to do most of their shopping for non-grocery items on mobile, 38% prefer shopping online and 22% would rather go in store. For the 21-29 age group mobile is even more pronounced, with 47% saying they primarily use their mobile device to shop, 31% indicated they prefer online and only 22% want to make a trip to the store.
Then there’s Amazon. 87% of shoppers surveyed said they shop on Amazon, with more than one in three saying they shop on Amazon at least once a week. Why? The majority indicated "selection of products" as the main driver for shopping on Amazon. The 30-39 age group has the most Prime members at 63%, however, every age group except those 50 and above had over half as Prime members.
The survey also indicated that shoppers will be doing more shopping in-store, online and on mobile than in 2016—however, this varied by age group as well. Transacting in the digital realm is projected to happen at a considerably higher rate by people ages 18-39, with an average of 60% saying they plan to shop more on their mobile devices and nearly 75% saying they plan to shop more online.