Ecommerce Survey: Despite the rise of eCommerce in recent years, most retail purchases still happen offline. A recent survey found that a vast majority of retail purchases still take place in physical stores. So what’s behind this trend? And what implications does it have for brands and retailers?

ECOMMERCE SURVEY CASE STUDY

In this case study, we’ll take a closer look at the Ecommerce Survey data to find out.

Ecommerce Survey: Despite the rise of eCommerce in recent years, most retail purchases still happen offline.
  • The Ecommerce Survey data shows that over 70% of retail purchases still happen offline.
  • The main reasons behind this trend are convenience, price, and product availability.
  • For brands and retailers, this means that they need to focus on providing a consistent offline and online experience.

What do you think? Does this data surprise you? Let’s find out more…

Some of the key reasons given by respondents for why they preferred to shop offline were:

  • The ability to touch and feel products before buying them
  • The immediacy of purchase – no waiting for delivery
  • The convenience of being able to take items home immediately
  • Avoiding delivery charges.

Interestingly, the price was not seen as a major factor in the decision to shop offline. This is in line with other surveys which have found that price is not the primary driver of purchase decisions.

So what does this all mean for brands and retailers?

The key takeaway here is that brands and retailers need to focus on providing a consistent offline and online experience. In today’s digital world, customers expect to be able to find what they’re looking for regardless of whether they’re shopping online or in-store. If they can’t, they’ll simply go elsewhere.

This means that brands need to invest in both their online and offline presence, ensuring that both provide a seamless experience for customers. In particular, retailers need to make sure that their in-store and online product ranges are aligned, and that prices are consistent across both channels.

What do you think? Are you surprised by these findings? What implications do they have for your business?

Why do people prefer to shop offline?

Let us look at the key possible reasons why most people prefer to shop offline instead of online.

Ability to touch and feel products before buying them:

One of the reasons given for preferring to shop offline was the ability to touch and feel products before buying them. This is a key advantage that physical stores have over their online counterparts.

Solution:

To overcome this disadvantage, some online retailers are now offering free returns for products that don’t meet customer expectations. This allows customers to feel confident that they can return an item if they’re not happy with it, without having to incur any additional costs.

The immediacy of purchase – no waiting for delivery:

One of the key advantages that physical stores have over their online counterparts is the immediacy of purchase. Customers can walk into a store, buy what they want, and leave. There’s no waiting for delivery, and no risk of the item not arriving on time.

Solution:

To combat this, some online retailers are now offering same-day or even one-hour delivery for certain items. This helps to address the immediacy issue and ensures that customers can get their hands on products as quickly as possible.

Avoiding delivery charges:

Some people don’t like to pay for a delivery, so they choose not to shop online.

Solution:

There are a few ways to get around this. Firstly, some retailers offer free delivery for orders over a certain amount. This encourages customers to spend more, while still getting their items delivered for free. Secondly, some retailers offer click-and-collect services, whereby customers can order items online and then pick them up in-store.

This means that they don’t have to pay for a delivery, and they can still get their items quickly.

The ability to speak to customer service in person:

One of the key advantages that physical stores have over their online counterparts is the ability to speak to customer service in person. If a customer has a question or problem, they can go into the store and speak to a member of staff.

This isn’t possible with online retailers, who generally rely on email or telephone support. This can be frustrating for customers, as it can take a long time to get a response.

Solution:

To combat this, some online retailers are now offering live chat support, which allows customers to speak to someone in real-time. This helps to provide a more responsive and personal service that can address customer queries quickly and effectively.

Access to a wider range of products offline:

One of the main reasons that people still prefer to shop offline is because they have access to a wider range of products. This is especially true for specialist items or items that are not available online. Generally speaking, it’s easy to believe what you see, touch, and feels instead of what you are reading or scrolling on the screen.

Solution:

All though there is no vibrant solution to this yet, however, the introduction of “dynamic related” products in eCommerce stores have gone a long way to combat this issue.

Ecommerce survey results

Statistical analysis of consumer’s opinion about shopping online vs shopping offline.

16.9% said shopping offline helps protect their privacy:

Some people said that they like to shop offline because it helps protect their privacy. This is because they don’t have to provide personal information, such as their name, address, and credit card details, when they make a purchase.

Solution:

If you’re concerned about privacy, there are a few things you can do when shopping online. Firstly, make sure that you’re using a secure website. You can check this by looking for the HTTPS:// at the beginning of the URL. Secondly, only provide personal information when it’s necessary. And thirdly, look for retailers that have a good privacy policy in place.

16.5% of respondents said they prefer to touch and feel products before they buy them:

Some people like to touch and feel products before they buy them, as this helps them to get a better idea of what they’re buying. This is especially true for items such as clothes or shoes, where people want to make sure that they’re the right size and style.

Solution:

If you’re worried about touch and feel, there are a few things you can do.

Firstly, you can read reviews from other customers. This will give you a good idea of what the product is like.

Secondly, you can look for retailers that offer a “Pay on delivery service”. This allows you to try on the product before you commit to buying it.

15.5% of respondents said they prefer to shop offline because they can get the items immediately:

Some people prefer to shop offline because they can get the items immediately. This is especially true for items that are needed urgently, such as food or wedding clothes.

Solution:

If you need an item urgently, there are a few things you can do. Firstly, you can look for retailers that offer a ‘click and collect service. This allows you to order the item online and then pick it up in-store. Secondly, you can look for retailers that offer a ‘delivery on-demand service. This allows you to order the item online and then have it delivered to your door within a certain time frame.

15.5% of respondents said they prefer to shop offline because they can get help and advice from staff:

Some people prefer to shop offline because they can get help and advice from store staff. This is especially true for items that are expensive or complicated, such as electrical goods or furniture.

Solution:

If you need help and advice when shopping, there are a few things you can do. Firstly, you can look for retailers that offer a ‘live chat service. This allows you to speak to someone in real-time who can answer your questions. Secondly, you can look for retailers that have a ‘help and advice” section on their website. This is usually packed with useful information that can help you make a decision.

13% of respondents said they prefer to shop offline because they can use coupons and vouchers:

Some people prefer to shop offline because they can use coupons and vouchers. This is especially true for items that are on sale or clearance.

Solution:

If you’re looking for coupons and vouchers, there are a few things you can do.

Firstly, you can check the retailer’s website. Many retailers will list their current offers and vouchers on their websites.

Secondly, you can sign up for the retailer’s newsletter. This way, you’ll be one of the first to know about any upcoming sales or discounts. And thirdly, you can follow the retailer on social media. This is a great way to stay up-to-date with all the latest news and offers.

14.4% of Americans buy in-store to save on shipping costs:

Some people in America choose to buy things in a store instead of online because they don’t have to pay for shipping. This can be a good idea if the item you’re buying is heavy or expensive to ship.

Solution:

If you’re worried about shipping costs, there are a few things you can do.

Firstly, you can look for retailers that offer free shipping. Many retailers will offer free shipping on orders over a certain amount.

Secondly, you can look for retailers that offer a ‘click and collect service. This allows you to order the item online and then pick it up in-store. And thirdly, you can look for retailers that have a physical store near you. This way, you can avoid shipping costs altogether.

RESOURCES: Read Here and Here

SUMMARY OF ECOMMERCE SURVEY

  1. The top three reasons people shop offline are convenience, better prices, and the ability to touch/try products before buying.
  2. E-commerce has some advantages over offline shopping, but it’s not yet the dominant force in retail.
  3. E-commerce will continue to grow, but it will take time for it to replace offline shopping completely.
  4. In the meantime, businesses need to focus on providing a good customer experience both online and offline.
  5. E-commerce can’t replace the human element of customer service.
  6. E-commerce can’t replace the social aspect of shopping.
  7. E-commerce has some advantages, but it’s not yet perfect. Businesses need to focus on providing a good customer experience both online and offline.
  8. E-commerce is growing rapidly, but the vast majority of retail purchases still happen in brick-and-mortar stores.
  9. E-commerce also has some disadvantages, such as the fact that it can be difficult to return items.
  10. However, it is clear that brick-and-mortar stores are not going away anytime soon.
  11. In fact, many brick-and-mortar retailers are now incorporating e-commerce into their business models. This is because they recognize that the future of retail is omnichannel, meaning that shoppers will purchase products both online and in-store. The omnichannel shopping experience is convenient and efficient, and it allows shoppers to buy products in the way that suits them best.
  12. Retailers who want to stay ahead of the curve will need to embrace eCommerce and offer their customers a seamless omnichannel shopping experience.

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