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Shoppers still prefer physical retail stores

A lot of people shop online but the majority prefer to buy items in physical stores. This is the one of the main conclusions from a recent Ayden retail report.  They are particularly likely to favour buying Groceries, shoes, alcohol and home furniture in stores.

Perhaps surprisingly, this seems to be the case, even given the biggest turn off for UK customers – the length of queues!

Could it be that the in-store experience provides a better dose of retail therapy despite having to wait in lines?  Maybe retailers are doing a better job of attracting people to their stores.  It looks like there has been a reversal of fortunes for brick and mortar retail.

Last year an American Customer Satisfaction Index report suggested a definite improvement and that in store shopping can be an all-round better experience.  That is, so long as the shops aren’t too busy and the cash till lines too big.

It’s often said that retail therapy is more effective if it involves interacting with other people and actually handling a money transaction, as well as being able to sample or try on a product. So, what else can we learn from recent research?

Well, according to the Ayden report the biggest turn off for online shoppers has been high delivery costs, with a high percentage of people saying they cancelled a transaction due to this.

Another interesting trend in this direction is regarding the age group of people preferring to shop in store. It’s not just the older generation but also the Gen Z’sters (millennials).  These people grew up in a world of smartphones and laptops.  By the time they started school e commerce was flourishing. According to a survey conducted by IBM and the US National Retail Foundation, they want to do trad shopping.  However, they still expect an experience, suggesting that companies should  try and create ‘interactive engagement’ around brands.

So, could it be that despite speculation that online trading would take over, are trends going full circle?  It’s hard to say and retail outlets cannot be complacent.  They need to if they strive for great customer service, and provide an immersive as well as convenient experience.

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