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Study: Why shoppers choose offline over online


Physical stores still have some key benefits over online retail.

An overwhelming majority (72%) of U.S. consumers cite “the ability to touch, feel and try products” as their top reason for shopping brick-and-mortar. That's according to a new study by Mood Media, “The State of Brick & Mortar: 2017,” which reveals consumer insights regarding the in-store customer experience and in-store shopping behaviors. The study is based on a survey of more than 11,000 consumers in nine countries across the globe, including Australia, China, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Russia, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Mood commissioned the survey to better understand what influences consumers’ decisions to choose brick-and-mortar over online shopping, what they most enjoy and don’t enjoy about the in-store experience and what most motivates them in the physical store. The study also explores the influence of a store’s atmosphere – including music – on the overall shopping experience.

“The tangible, tactile nature of brick and mortar is still viewed as a very real advantage, as is the desire for instant gratification,” said Scott Moore, global senior VP of marketing for Mood Media.

The study also reveals that shopping as a form of entertainment remains important to the majority of people around the world, particularly among younger ones. In the U.S., one in three shoppers aged 18-24 rated the “atmosphere and experience” as a top reason they choose in-store over online shopping.

"Consumers, particularly younger consumers, aren’t just buying a product when in-store; they’re buying an experience," said Moore. "Those businesses who deliver an elevated customer experience witness greater repeat visits, a greater number of recommendations and longer in-store dwell times.”

Some highlights of the study include:

• Waiting in line is the top in-store frustration of U.S. shoppers, at 60%. Items or sizes being out of stock ranked second, at 47%.

• If a store is playing music, 84% of U.S. consumers cite that “the shopping experience is more enjoyable;” 81% say that their “mood is lifted;” and 70% express that they “feel like it’s a brand they can relate and connect to.” And 77% said waiting in line is less dull if music is playing.

• Nearly half of U.S. respondents (46%) confirmed that they would like to be able to influence the music playing in-store.

• When music is partnered with visuals and scent to create a branded in-store atmosphere, 59% of U.S. respondents surveyed say they’re more likely to “revisit” (72% of those aged 18-24), and 54% say they’re more likely to “recommend the place to others” (65% of those aged 18-24).

• Also, 60% of 18-24 year olds cited that an enjoyable, branded in-store atmosphere would make them more likely to “stay (and shop) in the store longer.”

• Fifty percent of U.S. consumers surveyed would like to receive immediately redeemable discounts pushed to their phones while in-store. Interest in receiving among 18-24 year olds came in even higher, at 67%.
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