In-Store Shopping Remains Valuable to Consumers

Majority want to see or test products before they buy
A woman shopping for lipstick in a store

Shopping online may be convenient, but most prefer seeing a product in person before making a purchase, a new survey shows.

Shopping rewards app Shopkick surveyed 16,721 consumers in December to learn about their 2020 buying habits and preferences. The findings are good news for brick-and-mortar retailers.

A majority of shoppers said physically being in a store could motivate them to spend their money. In fact, 82% said seeing, touching or trying a product makes them more likely to buy that item.

Going further, a majority of shoppers of all generations plan to do most of their shopping this year in brick-and-mortar stores:

  • 67% of baby boomers
  • 61% of Generation Zers
  • 59% of Generation Xers
  • 57% of millennials

For its survey, Shopkick defined the generations as such:

  • Baby boomers: Ages 54 to 72
  • Gen Xers: Ages 38 to 53
  • Millennials: Ages 22 to 37
  • Gen Zers: Ages 21 and younger

While having the ability to shop via phone can keep consumers from visiting brick-and-mortar stores, the survey showed that mobile phones can enhance the in-store shopping experience. In fact, 88% of respondents said they intended to use their mobile devices when they shopped in physical stores to find deals and coupons or compare prices. Half of consumers said they would use their mobile devices while shopping in a store more frequently this year than in the past.

For those consumers shopping online, don’t look for them to spend much time looking for bargains on their social media feeds. However, among those who will, Facebook is where they are most likely to turn, with 29% of baby boomers, 26% of millennials and 26% of Gen Xers planning to shop via the social media platform. Gen Zers were more likely to shop on Instagram, with 20% planning to do so in 2020.

Shoppers stay loyal to retailers in which they believe

One of the perks of shopping online is being able to check the prices of many retailers with the click of a button. Yet, consumers aren’t just influenced by price. Among the survey respondents, 73% of consumers said they would shop more frequently with retailers whose core values align with their own.

The breakdown of those who felt this way among generations:

  • 75% of baby boomers
  • 72% of Gen Xers
  • 70% of millennials
  • 68% of Gen Zers

Younger consumers, in particular, were likely to show loyalty to a brand, as 64% of Gen Z respondents said brand loyalty is a factor for them, compared with 47% of baby boomers.

While online shopping continues to grow, consumers still find value in visiting brick-and-mortar stores. Regardless of where you prefer to do your shopping, budget your purchases and comparison shop to get the most out of your money.

Tamara E. Holmes

Tamara E. Holmes is a Washington, DC-based writer who covers personal finance, entrepreneurship and careers.

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