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It turns out convenience trumps all other factors for shoppers, whether they are shopping online or in stores. New research has found that more that both online and in-store shoppers say convenience is the driving factor in where and how they choose to shop.
However, shoppers did not agree on many other things about the way in which they shop. For instance, shoppers say they felt more satisfied when they were able to complain in person compared with voicing complaints online. Additionally, more than 70 percent of shoppers say they were more satisfied when handling returns in person compared with just 13 percent who were satisfied shopping online.
Overall, 40 percent of in-store shoppers say that they went to a store for convenience, while 22 percent say they shop in person because they do not trust the quality of products online. Additionally, 17 percent of shoppers say they get better prices by shopping in store. The same percentage says they do not want to pay for shipping when shopping online. Just 4 percent of shoppers say they crave the personal interaction that shopping in a store provides.
The survey, which was based on the responses of 1,000 people, also found that aside from convenience, online shoppers say they the ease of finding things online was another reason they shopped online. One-quarter of online shoppers say they did so for better prices, while 3 percent say they shop online to avoid interaction with employees.
Researchers also found that stores may need to start worrying about the threat of showrooming, the practice in which shoppers go to stores to test out products only to later buy them online. That's because 70 percent of respondents say they found showrooming to be a satisfying experience.
"There is clearly a benefit for retailers to concentrate not only on price, but also how they are designing as holistic an experience as possible for their customers to be able to efficiently interact with their brand, whether it is in-person or online," said Craig LaRosa, principal of Continuum's Service Design group, which conducted the research. "A one-size-fits-all approach does not work when it comes to designing a great customer experience or service."