Purchases in brick-and-mortar stores account for over 94% of all retail sales in 2014, according to a report by InReality.
The report focused on shopper behavior inside the stores, by surveying their use of mobile devices in-store, the effectiveness of loyalty programs and the effectiveness of traditional in-store marketing tactics along the shopper’s path to purchase.
“We know the rapidly accelerating growth and adoption of technology is disrupting retail as shoppers are researching and buying online; and yet we also know that the overwhelming majority of retail dollars spent by shoppers is still within brick-and-mortar,” said Gary Lee, president and chief executive officer of InReality. “Our research focuses on uncovering the ‘tug-of-war’ brewing inside stores as shoppers choose the best of online and in-store marketing. “Traditional in-store marketing is still critically important to shoppers, but technology, especially mobile is having an impact on the store-changing the shopper’s path to purchase and calling for brands and retailers to start rethinking in-store strategies.”
“Retailers now know that increasingly, their cross-channel shoppers are just ‘shoppers’ and that their biggest challenge is in how to merge the digital and physical selling worlds into one seamless customer experience,” said Nikki Baird, managing partner at Retail Systems Research. “The compelling opportunity for retailers is in blending the best of what the digital realm has to offer with the best that the physical realm delivers.”
The report revealed that shoppers are not doing all their research online. In fact, 53% of shoppers surveyed prefer to research products in-store. The 18-24 year-old age group preferred to research product information in-store instead of online, with 57% of shoppers surveyed in that age group preferring to shop in-store.
One-fourth of shoppers are using mobile devices to purchase in-store. The majority of shoppers, 75% are using mobile in-store and 25% of shoppers are actually using their mobile devices in-store to make a purchase.
Traditional in-store marketing still matters, but some tactics must change. Fifty-six percent of shoppers still think advertising is important to their purchase decision in-store. However, only 12% of shoppers feel in-store sales associate is an important touch point in a purchase decision.
The report also revealed that loyalty programs may not be driving loyalty. Only 46% of shoppers who use loyalty programs consider them to be important in their decision to purchase and 71% of shoppers who use loyalty programs still use their mobile devices for price comparisons.