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Survey: Consumers increasing online shopping


New York - While the majority of consumers prefer to both shop and spend their money in brick-and-mortar retail stores, more than 60% are increasing their online shopping activities, according to a survey of 1,515 consumers by digital marketing firm SmartFocus. This trend is most prevalent among women (71%) and Millennials.

The SmartFocus survey also reveals a significant age-related gap in digital shopping preferences. Nearly half of all Millennials spend more time shopping online than in stores while only 27% of Baby Boomers (consumers aged 55 and up) prefer to shop online.

There's also a gender gap, with women more likely than men to identify and buy products on a smartphone and receive offers from brands via smartphone or email. However, about half of both men and women in the U.S. were open to sharing personal data with brands.

Across the board people admitted to browsing in stores and then buying online (a practice sometimes called "showrooming"), with more than 60% of those in the US saying this was something they did. More than 70% of shoppers cited price as a reason for showrooming.

Of the shoppers surveyed, Millennials are the most open to receiving product offers via email and sharing personal data with a brand in exchange for a more personalized shopping experience. Overall, about 75% of US shoppers welcome digital offers and discounts - particularly women, 78% of whom were receptive to digital offers. Other survey findings include:

• 70% of Americans believe that technological advances and the Internet of Everything will continue to change the way they shop.

• By a two-to-one ratio, Americans report that they still love to shop at a mall or in a retail store, but 61% admit that they spot products at stores and then buy them online.

• Bargain hunters are more likely to buy something if they've received a discount offer via email or text.

• Over 60% of Americans don't understand location-based marketing and beacon technology, indicating a large, untapped opportunity to better educate consumers about its advantages.

"The U.S. shopper survey shows that consumers are becoming more sophisticated about digital shopping," said Rob Mullen, SmartFocus CEO and retail marketing expert. "Using mobile phones and tablets to find bargains is becoming the norm rather than the exception.”

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