Survey Finds 99% Of Consumers Shopped Brick & Mortar In The Past 12 Months


Madison, NJ — Despite the popularity of online shopping, nearly all consumers (99%) shopped in a physical store in the past 12 months, according to new research commissioned by Coldwell Banker Commercial and conducted online by The Harris Poll assessing American preferences surrounding in-store shopping.

The survey found consumers chose to shop in store in the past 12 months for ease, immediacy and experience. Details on why consumers chose to shop in store include: to purchase a product they needed immediately (61%), experience a product before buying it (55%), browse and get ideas (50%) and take advantage of in-store sales / coupons (49%).

“Consumers still want the experience of in-store retail, and the numbers show they’re also looking for personalized assistance,” says Daniel Spiegel, managing director of Coldwell Banker. “Retailers can drive people to stores by creating stellar experiences and customer service. I recently went to a new store that was set up like a market with various vendors around the space. Perhaps it’s the new department store model. Clearly, there’s still a strong desire for in-store shopping, retailers can get more creative with their spaces to attract shoppers.”

According to the research, while consumers are split between online (51%) and physical stores (44%) as their preferred option for buying holiday gifts, more than 9 in 10 consumers (92%) do plan to shop in a physical store for gifts this holiday season. The survey found consumers intend to shop in store this holiday season for specific reasons:

  • To take advantage of sales / coupons (55%)
  • Experience a product before buying it (50%)
  • Look for unique gifts (49%) and to find something specific (49%)

The survey also reveals physical stores are preferred by most consumers for 4 out of the 5 polled purchase types. The majority of consumers say physical stores are the most preferred shopping method for major appliances (81%), clothing / accessories (70%), health/beauty products (67%) and home décor (67%). Roughly 2 in 5 consumers (44%) prefer physical stores for buying holiday gifts.

More than 4 in 5 consumers surveyed (81%) say they feel they are making a positive contribution to their community by shopping in a physical store. Over two-thirds (68%) of consumers say retail therapy is a great way to relieve stress.

Consumers value in-store experiences and personalized assistance, with more than two-thirds (68%) saying when they shop in a physical store they tend to look for in-store experiences. Half of consumers (50%) say they would sacrifice spending less on a product online in order to get personalized assistance/advice from an in-store sales associate.

Younger generations are more likely to go to stores to kill time and spend time with friends, the research shows. C&ST