Kindred Shoppers: In-Store Beats Online Worldwide - Except In Two Countries

U.S. consumers lag behind their peers in other countries in their appetite for online shopping.  

For instance, 32% of consumers the U.S. shop online once a month or less. Another 16% do so once a week, and 19% shop online a few times a week, according to The State of Retail & E-Commerce, a study by Morning Consult. 

In contrast, 20% in the U.K. shop online once a week, while 21% shop online a few times a week.

Of course, Asian consumers outpace those in the West in general. In South Korea, 21% say they shop once per week, while 26% shop a few times, and 10% shop several times a day. And 22% of Chinese respondents shop several times a day.  

Pandemic-related issues may also play into these preferences -- especially in China, given its draconian lockdown policies. 



France lags at the bottom, with 41% saying they shop online once a month or less, 11% shopping online once a week, 15% saying who shop online a few times a week and 4% who shop online once per day. Of course, 68% would rather shop in stores. 

The South Korean and Chinese online advantage extends to preference: 53% of South Koreans prefer to shop online, and 41% would rather shop in stores. In China, 57% favor shopping online, and 16% prefer to shop in stores. 

Things are different in the U.S. — 46% prefer shopping in stores, while 28% would rather shop online. 

The popularity of online shopping in the U.S. is based first on convenience — 79% cite it, versus 43% who prefer stores. In line with that, 69% also cite the time saved online.  

Even in the area of product comparisons, stores barely edge online — at 49% versus 48%. And online is tops in product selection — at 45% to 24%. 

In-store shopping dominates in two areas: enjoyment (59% to 41%) and product details (42% to 24%). And it wins in customer service, 20% to 12%. 

Augmented reality has been used by 36% in China, and 67% are interested in using it. In contrast, only 19% have tried it in the U.S., with 43% interested in doing so.  

Meanwhile, cash-strapped consumers are seeking price discounts as their top way to cope with economic pressures. 

  • Looking for discounts — 79%
  • Shopping less overall — 77% 
  • Consolidating driving trips — 68%
  • Shopping at discount stores — 68%
  • Switching to generic brands — 67%
  • Avoiding paying for shipping — 66%
  • Delaying minor purchases — 65%
  • Buying fewer groceries — 65%
  • Delaying major purchases — 60%
  • Avoiding purchases with return fees — 49%

Morning Consult surveyed 15,000 consumers across Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, Spain, Thailand and the United Kingdom. 



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