Most U.S. consumers prefer to shop for holiday purchases in a physical store, according to a recent survey conducted by SDL, a provider of technology that enables retailers to combine, analyze and understand consumer behavior across purchase channels.
The survey, titled: Preferences On Holiday Shopping Experiences, examined the habits, beliefs and behaviors of more than 3,000 shoppers during the 2012 holiday season. It concluded that understanding and engaging customers based on their preferred use of each channel creates an experience consumers will value during the holidays and throughout the year.
In-Store Versus Online Shopping
According to the survey, U.S. holiday shoppers said they prefer an in-store experience over online shopping because they value the ability to examine a product prior to purchase, avoid shipping costs and take advantage of in-store discounts. For consumers who said they prefer to shop online, convenience is the driver. The top three reasons for shopping online are:
- To avoid crowds (59.7%);
- The comfort of shopping from home (52.5%); and
- Access to online discounts (38.2%).
Though the online shopping preference trailed the in-store experience by less than a 2% margin, “the data is noteworthy,” the report disclosed, “because online shopping has appeared to outpace in-store shopping more recently.” The overall results point to the importance of retailers to focus on omnichannel retailing, the report revealed.The following graphical representations, taken from the report, break down the influences that both in-store and online shoppers said positively and negatively impact their shopping experiences overall:
“Retailers need to fully acknowledge the growing power of consumers and, for retail marketers, shift their strategies accordingly,” the study indicated. “To gain the insights that drive results, retailers need to integrate and analyze inputs across all channels, both on- and off-line. In the end, consumers still have only a set amount [of money] to spend and so retailers must focus on customer engagement — not just for the holiday season made up of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but for 365 days of the year.”
Click here to access the Preferences On Holiday Shopping Experiences report.