Physical stores essential to shopping experience, even for online purchases
While digital retailing is capturing headlines and inspiring debate as retailers plan for the future, physical stores continue to be customers’ preferred shopping channel, according to a new study. As many as 90 percent of all retail sales are transacted in stores and 95 percent of all retail sales are captured by retailers with a brick-and-mortar presence.
A.T. Kearney’s Omnichannel Shopping Preferences Study also showed that brick-and-mortar stores create the most significant value for consumers and retailers. Interestingly, the study found that stores play a crucial role in online purchases: two-thirds of customers purchasing online use a physical store before or after the transaction. Even if the transaction is eventually registered online, the physical store makes a significant contribution to converting the sale.
“Whatever the strategy, format or channel, the future of retailing will be characterized by consumer-centricity as operators continue to capitalize on emerging opportunities to better serve the customer demands for ‘anything, anytime, anywhere’,” said Andres Mendoza Pena, A.T. Kearney principal and study co-author, in a press release. The study was based on a survey of 2,500 U.S. shoppers across all age segments that asked respondents about their shopping preferences and behaviors. Respondents were asked to rank the channels they used in each stage of the Shopping Journey – Discovery, Trial and Test, Purchase, Delivery or Pickup, and Returns.