While an increased focus on e-Commerce and the rise of mobile retailing are changing the manner in which consumers shop, the in-store shopping experience will continue to be a backbone for the industry.
As an example of the influence the store continues to have on digital channels, the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) reported that 34% of Thanksgiving and Black Friday online retail sales were picked up in the store. In what is good news for omnichannel retailers, upon entering the store, approximately six out of 10 of these shoppers bought additional items.
An ICSC survey revealed that from the period between Dec. 7, 2015 and Christmas Day, consumers will visit a shopping center on average 6.5 times per week, and will spend $147 per week.
“It’s not about brick versus clicks anymore,” said Thomas McGee, President and CEO of the ICSC, in an interview with Chain Store Age. “It is about convergence, and retailers are just beginning to touch the possibilities in that regard.”
Mobile Carries Greater Weight Throughout Purchasing Process
The integration of smartphones and tablets into the collective consciousness of shoppers has spearheaded this convergence, with consumers finding more convenient ways to use the devices. The top reasons these shoppers gave for in-store mobile use were to:
Compare prices (33%);
Check availability (23%); and
Get digital coupons (21%).
Millennials between the ages of 18 to 24, who are the savviest consumers when it comes to using mobile technology to their advantage, also are still going out of their way to shop in the store. In fact, 92% of these consumers visit a shopping center at least once a week.
“Although it may seem counter-intuitive that the most wired consumer — Millennials between the ages of 18 to 24 — spend the most time at shopping centers, today’s shopping centers are more than places to simply buy goods and services, as they have incorporated a multitude of dining and entertainment venues into their tenant mix,” McGee said in a statement. “Combined with the fact that shopping is no longer a choice between clicks and bricks but rather an omnichannel journey that often leads to fulfillment at a physical store, it is not surprising that consumers visit shopping centers so often.”