Digital Buyers Still Want Physical Stores - eMarketer

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Digital Buyers Still Want Physical Stores

More technology could make them even better

November 9, 2015

Stores have a lot to offer, according to digital buyers. Those surveyed by the e-tailing group for B2C Partners had plenty of positive things to say about the utility of brick-and-mortar locations despite also recognizing the conveniences of digital.

Attitudes Toward Digital and In-Store Shopping Among US Digital Buyers, Q2 2015 (% of respondents)

The responses suggested that the two retail channels complement each other at least as much as they compete.

The most popular responses focused on ways the in-store experience could enhance digital: For example, 84% said they liked combining the efficiency of digital with the tangibility of retail stores.

At the bottom of the list, however, fewer than half of digital buyers agreed that the more edited experience of shopping a smaller selection in physical stores helped them avoid being overwhelmed online. Stores may have their strong points, but a smaller selection is not one of them.

Respondents also indicated stores could be even better with more tech added. More than three in four thought it would be useful to have technologies that helped them find exactly where the item they were looking for was within a store—though just 22% had encountered that already. More than seven in 10 also found it useful to be able to check out on mobile devices, avoiding lines.

According to August research, easing checkout is US internet users’ No. 1 concern when it comes to in-store tech. Retailers may be putting less emphasis on it than shoppers.

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