Survey: Offline customer experience still vital to omnichannel success

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Even as more customers shop online in the wake of COVID-19, retailers need to provide a satisfying in-store experience.

According to the “Raydiant State of Consumer Behavior 2021” survey, 46% of respondents said that given the choice, they would rather shop in-store than online. This figure is down 9% from the 2020 edition of Raydiant’s annual consumer behavior survey. Forty percent of respondents have visited physical stores less frequently since COVID-19 hit, and 48% said they have replaced products they typically purchase in stores with competitors’ online alternatives.

Despite this shift toward e-commerce, a positive in-store shopping experience remains important. Six in 10 respondents have abandoned a retailer for good due to one poor in-store experience, and about two-thirds (65%) said a positive in-store experience makes them more likely to shop with a retailer online.

When asked what aspects of an in-store experience make it positive, the top five responses were availability and variety of product (33%), quality of service (31%), store layout and organization of products (14%), health and safety products (10%), and checkout efficiency (6%). Consumers are most likely to purchase groceries (70%), medicine (64%), household supplies (47%), and alcohol (47%) at a brick-and-mortar store. 

The survey also examined consumer attitudes toward brand loyalty. Six in 10 (61%) respondents said they switch brands about the same amount as always, while 25% switch more often today than ever before and 13% switch less often today than ever before, with 1% providing another response.

Raydiant surveyed 1,000 U.S. consumers in December 2020.