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Survey: Shoppers still love stores


New York - While the digital age has encouraged more consumers to shop and browse products on the Web, physical stores are still primary destinations for shoppers, according to an annual survey by PwC's.

The report, “Total Retail: Retailers and the Age of Disruption,” reveals that only 27% of U.S. consumers say they shop online weekly. Reserving the strength of the traditional store, 68% of U.S. respondents say they have intentionally browsed products at a store but decided to purchase them online. And 73% say they have browsed products online but decided to purchase them in-store. Sixty-five percent of the respondents cited delivery fees as the reason for purchasing in-store, as well as having the item immediately (61%), and trying it on/seeing it (61%).

About half (46%) of U.S. survey respondents have researched products on their mobile phones, while nearly the same percentage (45%) have used them for price comparisons. Mobile payments are still in the infancy stage, with only 1% of consumers using them as their preferred method of payment. Plastic still leads, with U.S. consumers citing credit cards (40%) and debit cards (40%) as their preferred payment methods.

Security remains an issue as 33% of U.S. consumers say they do not use their smartphones or tablets for shopping due to concerns of security, and 77% are wary of having their credit card information hacked using a mobile phone.

U.S. retailers' and brands' enthusiasm for social media is also driving consumers to engage, and for some time it led many to believe that social media platforms were a robust vehicle for shopping. According to the report however, only 4% of U.S. respondents say they have purchased products via social media and 34% say they only use social media to follow favorite brands and retailers. When asked if their interactions on social media had led them to buy more, 36% said "yes, in some cases,” showing social media's effect on retail is just starting to be felt.

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