How Much Longer Can the Traditional Store Remain Shoppers' Fave?
Consumers prefer the traditional store experience over online shopping—for now
Thanks to digital devices, mobile in particular, the path to purchase starts long before consumers step foot in-store. Still, brick-and-mortar isn’t dead, as evidenced by a June 2014 study by ORC International for Capgemini. Among digital shoppers worldwide, 72% said the traditional store experience was important when making a purchase—the highest percentage out of locations and channels studied. The internet landed second, at 67%.
Results indicated that there was indeed demand for a more digital store experience among today’s tech-savvy shoppers. The majority of respondents said that in-store technology, such as kiosks, was important when buying an item. Despite mobile’s rise and rumors of showrooming, smartphone websites and apps trailed behind in-store tech and even email as important channels for purchases.
According to March 2014 polling by UPS, comScore and the e-tailing group, electronic receipts sent via email or text were the most appealing in-store technology to US digital buyers, cited by 36%. In-store kiosks that would allow shoppers to order out-of-stock products or those not sold in-store ranked second, at 32%, while scannable shelf labels with info about a product and its availability, or that allowed purchases, were right behind this (30%).
Interest in in-store tech and the traditional store experience may not be enough for digital consumers, though. Capgemini noted that physical shops faced a grimmer future: Digital shoppers worldwide planned to order directly from brand manufacturers more in the coming years (65%), up ordering via a manufacturer’s app (53%) or third-party app (50%), spend more money on the internet than in a brick-and-mortar (51%) and turn to stores for showrooming rather than purchases (48%).