New Reflect Retail Study Reveals Big Appetite In US For Bringing Online Shopping Features To Physical Stores
September 22, 2021 by Dave Haynes
The Dallas CMS software firm Reflect has pushed out the executive summary of findings generated from a recent survey of 1,600 Americans on their preferences for shopping and the role of technology coming out of this pandemic.
The national study – called In-Store Shopping: Hiccups & Hangups of 2021 – showed a significant thirst for more technological advancements in brick-and-mortar stores, especially if they mimic the convenience and benefits of online shopping.
The online survey was run in mid-August and revealed 60% of those responding prefer to do more than half of their shopping online. Despite this majority, the findings also highlight a significant interest in in-store technology to enhance the in-person shopping experience – revealing how retailers can use tailored technology to draw customers back into stores.
Other findings include:
- 67% of respondents said what they miss most about in-person shopping is interacting with products and knowing what they’re getting.
- 80% of under-30 shoppers are more likely to shop in person than online if a store has interactive screens with product information, product comparisons and/or reviews.
- 55% said they prefer to shop in-person for food and grocery items, above any other product category.
- Surprisingly, only 56% of younger Millennials (under 30) prefer to shop online vs. almost 70% of older Millennials (30-44).
- 43% of shoppers say the Delta variant will not have an impact on how much they shop in person.
“What we’re seeing—to no one’s surprise—is that the factors driving people to shop online are the ease and breadth of features it offers, but consumers are clearly missing key elements of in-person shopping that online retailers simply can’t provide,” says Lee Summers, CEO at Reflect. “Shoppers still want to physically interact with products, but they’ve grown accustomed to the personalized, ‘DIY’ experience of online shopping. This data shows that retailers have a huge opportunity to leverage in-store technology to drive store traffic and revenue by deploying tech that puts customers in the driver’s seat, giving them access to product information—right at their fingertips.”
The study also dug into which online technologies and features would be welcomed in physical retail settings:
- 56% of respondents said product reviews would be the most helpful feature from online shopping they would like to see in-store, with price comparison second at 39%.
- 46% said they prefer a more DIY shopping experience, with self-service options.
- 83% believe informative digital screens would save time during shopping trips.
- Of those who do the majority of their shopping online, nearly 50% say that informative, interactive displays would be the most enticing feature for them to shop in person.
“This research clearly illustrates the gaps retailers can and should fill between in-person and online shopping,” says Matt Schmitt, Reflect’s co-founder and president. “Through new innovations, personalized experiences and other unique offerings, brands have a host of solutions at their disposal to enhance in-store shopping trips and encourage customers to keep coming back—simply by giving customers the experience they want.”
Reflect plans to expand on the findings in a live webinar set for October 7, hosted by Bob Sanders, the company’s COO. Webinar registrants will get the full report (even if unable to attend the live event).