But…Bricks-and-Mortar Stores Are Still Dominant by a Wide Margin
Online shopping is no longer a trend. It’s now a way of life in America, with 96 percent of the respondents in a recent study saying they shop online. All demographic groups – from Millennials to Seniors – are turning to their various screens for making a purchase. And, they’re loving the experience, ranking it ahead of smartphone GPS and streaming media as “something they can’t live without.” Big Commerce, an e-commerce platform, and Kelton Global, research consultants, discovered these facts and more in a March 2016 study of 1,000 shoppers. Their findings have been reported by Chain Store Age (see article) and other retail industry media.
The massive report is also well worth a read for leaders in retail real estate. But before you dive into all the findings, check out these ten highlights.
1.Good News for Retail Real Estate
Shoppers love online, but 64 percent of those surveyed still buy in bricks-and-mortars. This includes Millennials – 44 percent said they shop in stores. Women make more shopping trips than men. Men buy more online.
2.More Good News for Retail Real Estate
Survey respondents said their least favorite aspects of online shopping were: inability to touch and feel merchandise, shipping charges, exchanges, and waiting for delivery.
3.Brick-and-Mortar Websites are Online Shopping Hubs
Twenty-five percent of respondents in the Big Commerce study had shopped at the website of a brick-and-mortar store.
4.Favorite Features of Online Shopping
No surprises here. Shoppers choose online for convenience and speed of sale.
5.Most Online Dollars Go to E-Commerce Marketplaces
Big Commerce’s respondents spent an average of $488 last year on sites like Amazon and eBay. Their second highest spending level was on the sites of major online/offline brands ($409).
6.What Do Online Shoppers Want on Websites?
Online shoppers want images, video demonstrations, customer reviews, and product comparison – all the things that bring an item to life.
7.How Do Shoppers Choose an E-Commerce Site?
Price is the main driver (87 percent), followed closely by free shipping and speed (80 percent).
8.Shipping Costs are a Major Stumbling Block to Online Sales
Online shoppers are super-resistant to paying for shipping. Two-thirds of those in the Big Commerce study said they had abandoned their shopping carts when they saw the shipping charges.
9.Social Commerce is on the Rise
Thirty percent of the respondents said they were open to buying through a social media network. More than half the Millennials were ready to shop on social. Facebook and Pinterest were the social platforms of choice.
10.Online Shopping is Everywhere and Round the Clock
In retail stores, in the car, in the office – 24/7 – people are shopping online. Forty-three percent shop in bed and 20 percent shop while in the bathroom. Ten percent admit to shopping under the influence of alcohol (13 percent of them Millennials and 17 percent Gen-Xers). Maybe this is why 42 percent of Big Commerce’s respondents admitted regretting an online purchase, and 21 percent said they had bought something online “by accident.”