Blurred lines: In-store vs. online shopping
Susan Dickenson -- Home Accents Today, 9/1/2013 2:00:00 AM
In this month's special feature on technology (p. 82), MicroD Sales Director Leah Kirkland tells Home Accents Today, "We know e-commerce is the wave of the future and it's the equalizing and stabilizing factor between the big box store and local retailers, to really attract their market."
That statement brought to mind an interesting graphic I came across while reviewing session materials from this summer's Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition, held in Chicago.
The graphic, based on a national consumer survey conducted by Dimensional Research for Wanderful Media, offers an interesting look at the good and bad points of shopping online and in stores. Wanderful Media is a "local discovery shopping company" backed by a group of media companies and created with the initiative of digitally reinventing the circular advertising business.
According to a company press release, the goal of the survey - "Technology Blurs the Line of Online vs. In-store Shopping" - was to gather current data about consumer shopping behavior in stores and online, and to uncover how mobile and online technologies have changed the overall shopping experience.
The project revealed distinct drivers behind online and in-store shopping. Online shoppers cited ease-of-research, speed to find an item and cost as the top reasons they prefer to shop online. Respondents who prefer to shop in a physical store cited getting answers to questions, seeing the item before purchase, ease of making a return and merchant relationships as the top drivers.
The graph is shown below, but it was presented at IRCE with the addition of the words "Can we do better?" - a question directed at the online retailers in attendance and one that could also be asked of their brick and mortar counterparts.
Other key findings in the Wanderful Media survey:
■ Mobile is the preferred technology. Smartphones were the most popular devices (92%) for in-store research, followed closely by tablets. For conducting in-store research when shopping, search engines (84%) and Amazon (76%) were the most common online resources, and 37% identified social media as a resource.
■ Online shoppers multitask. Sixty three percent shop online while watching TV, 28% while socializing with friends, 24% while in a café or restaurant, and 22% while commuting.
■ Impulse shopping is driven by both online and in-store shopping activities, including browsing in a store (60%), promotional emails (42%), window shopping (36%), and while presented with other items in the online checkout process (27%). Shoppers make more impulse purchases from reading traditional newspaper circulars (23%) than they do from Facebook (22%), Twitter (13%) or Pinterest (13%)
■ The online experience sends shoppers into stores. More than half (55%) of the survey respondents first searched for a product, and found a store location, online before traveling to the store to make the purchase. Sixty percent went to a store for a purchase after receiving an email promo.
The Wanderful Media survey was one of many e-commerce subjects presented and discussed at the ninth annual Internet Retailer Conference and Exhibition, which is produced by IR Events Group, a division of GLM. Billed as the world's largest e-commerce event, this year's four-day event drew more than 9,700 attendees from 40 countries, a 13% increase over 2012.
Information about IRCE 2014 is available at IRCE.com.
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