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Here’s what consumers want from in-store shopping

Customers will shop in-store if their needs are met.

Most consumers still shop in brick-and-mortar stores, but have certain expectations.

 Almost two-thirds (64%) of U.S. respondents said that they still enjoy shopping in-store, according to new consumer research across the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, and Sweden from digital consultancy Publicis Sapient. Only 12% of U.S. respondents reported that they shop online exclusively.

In the U.S., the top items respondents prefer to shop for in a physical store are all high-touch products: perishables (58%), eyeglasses (54%), mattresses/furniture (48%), jeans (47%) and suits (32%). 

Globally, respondents are taking advantage of seamless in-store shopping experiences that blend digital and physical offerings. For example, 75% of respondents have engaged with a retailer’s app while in the store and 71% have checked retailer inventory online before visiting a brick-and-mortar store.

Almost four in 10 U.S. respondents (38%) say they check a retailer’s inventory online before shopping at a physical store. The survey also found some in-store shopping trends more pronounced among all Gen Z respondents from all surveyed countries, including:

  • Gen Z global respondents are more likely than older generations to shop in-store for trend inspiration and to socialize with friends.
  • Gen Z are more likely than older generations to engage in in-store experiences like pop-ups, coffee shops and product demos.

Other interesting findings among global respondents of all generations include:

  • Six in 10 global respondents would consider adding more to their online carts to save on shipping or to be eco-friendly.
  • Close to three in four (73%) would stop shopping at a retailer after an unpleasant experience.
  • Close to two in three (63%) would likely stop shopping at a retailer if they charged to ship back return items.
  • Roughly half (49%) shop online with something specific in mind and only shop for that item.
  • Three in 10 (31%) shop online for something specific in mind, but get inspired to purchase more while shopping.
  • Two in 10 (21%) browse around online and order whatever products strike them.

YouGov administered the Publicis Sapient survey among over 7,000 participants across France, Germany, the U.S., the U.K. and Sweden in September 2022.

Shoppers seek connected store experience
A recent survey of U.S. consumers from UserTesting and OnePoll confirms Publicis Sapient findings that respondents who prefer to shop in-store do so for a variety of reasons, with instant gratification a top motivator (33%), followed by having better sales or deals in person (26%), having better deals in-store than online (26%), and being able to secure items ahead of time (23%).

When asked what online shopping features they wished they could bring into a store with them, respondents said they’d like to see where items are located in-store (51%) and use promo codes/digital coupons (47%).

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