65% Prefer Store Over Online, Mobile; 85% Want to Touch, Feel Products

While mobile shopping is big, shopping in a store remains a lot bigger.

Study after study shows that the overwhelming number of consumers prefers shopping in a store over all other methods.

One of the challenges facing retailers is equipping sales associates to deal with in-store shoppers.

Some businesses, like furniture chain American Signature, are deploying in-store technology to aid shoppers, as I wrote about here yesterday (Forget Apps, American Signature Hands Tablets to Furniture Shoppers).

Now there’s another indicator that the in-store associate may be as important as the physical store itself.

When asked how likely they were to buy in a store if helped by a knowledgeable associate, 90% of consumers said they would be likely buy, according to a new study.

The state of retail report comprised a survey of 1,000 consumers conducted by TimeTrade.

Consistent with other studies, this one found that when asked why they prefer shopping in a store, most consumers said they want to touch and feel the products, which online has always lacked. Here’s why consumer prefer stores:

  • 85% -- Like to touch and feel product before deciding what to buy
  • 36% -- Don’t like waiting for products to ship
  • 30% -- Like to get advice on what product to buy

More than half (65%) of consumers said if an item they want is available online or in a nearby store, they prefer to shop in the store.

But mobile is involved. When looking to make a purchase, consumers use their phones for various aspects.

  • 61% -- Compare prices
  • 50% -- Research different products
  • 46% -- Find the nearest store location
  • 13% -- Make a purchase

As one more indicator of the attraction of the physical store, 71% of consumers said they would prefer to shop in a physical Amazon store rather than on Amazon.com.

However, the influence of digital research before in-store shopping is clear. When people browse online before making a trip to the store, almost all (91%) know exactly what they want to buy or at least have narrowed it down to two to three products.

So while mobile may not be the preferred method of buying, it sure has a lot of impact on what gets bought at the store.

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