08 Aug, 2017

You “Shop ‘Til You Drop” But, Why? Retailers: Pay Attention


The rise of online shopping has changed customer’s buying patterns, threatening brick and mortar stores.

Customers have been turning to the internet to make purchases more frequently than ever.

In 2014, shoppers in the U.S. spent over $320 billion on clothing, shoes, and accessories. By 2021, it’s estimated more than $96 billion of the total retail industry will be spent online,” Corra reports

According to experts, the online shopping trend is not changing anytime soon.

“About 190 million U.S. consumers—more than half the population—will shop online this year, according to Forrester Research, as reported by the Wall Street Journal.”  Fortune reports.

So, why do people shop online vs. in store?

In a recent study conducted by Corra, people’s in-store and online shopping preferences were revealed.

Top Reasons Customers Shop Online

Customers tend to prefer online shopping for a variety of reasons.

According to this latest survey, 4 themes were found among participants, separated by age.

No lines? No traffic? No problem.

Baby boomers, millennials, and generation x all have one thing in common: they like convenience when they shop.

  • 43% of millennials prefer convenience the most.
  • 37% of generation x prefer convenience second.
  • Lastly, 34% of baby boomers prefer convenience.

Online retail can happen anywhere, depending on the customer’s preference.

This makes a large impact on shopper’s buying habits, of all ages.

Better Selection

Following behind convenience, “better selection” was chosen as a preference among all ages.

  • 31% of generation x shoppers choose to shop online for a better selection of items.
  • 29% of millennials and baby boomers think online shopping provides a better selection as well.

Shopping Online Saves Time

Online shopping happens swiftly, all by the click of a button.

Customers reported that they shop online due to this attribute.

  • 16% of Millennials preferred this tool over the other generations.
  • 14% of Generation X shoppers were shortly behind Millennials favoring this feature.
  • Only 10% of Baby Boomers cared about saving time while shopping.

These results can further prove the point that Millennials are “moving fast”, as part of the mobile generation.

Why People Shop In-Store

Brick and mortar retailers shouldn’t completely panic about losing customers.

According to the survey, customers still prefer to shop online for a variety of reasons.

4 major in store shopping preferences were found among the customers.

Feel and Try on Products

Online shopping can be fast and easy, but it is lacking something that brick and mortar stores thrive on: trying on products.

Although Amazon has rolled out a  try before you buy approach to its online stores, customers still prefer to try on items in stores.

  • 86% of generation x participants say that this is why they shop in-store.
  • 83% of baby boomers also like to try clothes on before purchasing.
  • 81% of millennials agreed.

“Looking at items” was reported to fall shortly behind this preference, with 13% of baby boomers emphasizing this feature the most.

Is Social Shopping Dead?

Customers of all ages seem to think that being social while shopping in stores isn’t so appealing anymore.

  • Baby boomers cared the most about this feature during in-store shopping, 13% of them, in fact.
  • Generation x and Millennials were tied at 8%, having a preference toward social shopping.

Since online shopping can be done as a solo activity, brick and mortar stores will have a challenge delivering this similar experience in stores.

Men Vs. Female Customers

The differences between men and females shopping patterns were also exposed in the survey.

The same categories presented its self during the comparison of online and in store shopping.

  • 43% of men gravitated toward online shopping for convenience, whereas 38% of women agreed.
  • Both men and women agree that trying on merchandise is important when deciding which platform to shop on.
  • Only 2% of women enjoyed the social aspect of in store shopping, 6% of men enjoyed this more.

Men and women did not present many differences when comparing both shopping platforms.

What This Means for Retailers

Revealing a customer’s shopping pattern says a lot about the trends that occur in the retail industry.

Understanding what influences your customer’s buying decisions puts retailers in a position to integrate the necessary tools into stores that will further target the desired audience.

“Of the 1,000 people surveyed about their shopping habits, most people shopped as much online as they did in a physical store location. While some people only shopped online or in-store once every couple of months, women who shopped multiple times a week were more likely to do so online versus visiting a brick-and-mortar store.” The survey concluded. 

As the retail industry grows, customer’s preferences shift.

Focusing on this shift and getting to the bottom of why customers prefer to shop online is an important tool that all retailers should use.

Retailers are beginning to integrate digital tools into stores in order to keep up with the evolving digital retail industry.

Don’t miss out….


North America’s most prominent digital, marketing, technology, and business leaders from the Retail Industry are coming together October 19-20, 2017 at the Grand America Hotel in Salt Lake City, UT, for the Digital Retail Transformation Assembly. By working with the industry, we have put together an event to challenge attendees and anticipate the highly complex digital retail marketing environment that will develop over the next few years.

We are thrilled to announce the participation of Martin Barhel, Global Head of eCommerce & Retail Strategy, Facebook, and Brendan Witcher, Principal Analyst, Forrester as speakers at this edition of the Digital Retail Transformation Assembly.

Retail is rapidly changing as the growth of digital transformation influences customer’s shopping behaviors. Retailers are at a time to truly start to understand where their audience shops and why in, order successfully engage a customer.

The on-demand customer is evolving faster than ever. Learn from like minded peers about how to successfully target this customer in order to keep brick and mortar stores popular among consumers. With new augmented reality, virtual reality, machine learning, and artificial intelligence technology making a splash in 2017, retail CDOs and CMOs are uniquely positioned to take full advantage of these tools and deliver unique consumer experiences.

This is not just another “Retail” event. Spaces are reserved for the best in the business. Register your interest here >

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