Shoppers still want physical stores – but a better in-store experience – says report


The State of Brick & Mortar: 2017 survey involved more than 11,000 consumers in nine countries across the globe, including Australia, China, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Russia, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States. 

“Consumers are increasingly comfortable shopping in an omnichannel world, yet there are still key differences that steer shoppers toward one channel over another at times,” said Valentina Candeloro, Marketing Director International for Mood Media. “The tangible, tactile nature of bricks and mortar is still viewed as a very real advantage, as is the desire for instant gratification.  Further, shopping as a form of entertainment remains important to many people around the world.

“Consumers – particularly younger consumers – aren’t just buying a product when in-store; they’re buying an experience. And their expectations for a positive, emotionally engaging experience are quite high. Those businesses who deliver an elevated Customer Experience witness greater repeat visits, a greater number of recommendations and longer in-store dwell times.”

Some highlights of the study include:

1. Consumers greatly value the tactile nature of offline shopping:

Worldwide, 78 per cent of respondents cited the ability to touch, feel and try products as their top reasons for shopping in physical stores.

2. In-Store Frustrations Remain:

Despite traditionally being considered a very British problem, waiting in line actually represents the most frustrating aspect of in-store shopping for consumers worldwide (60%).

3. Music is a crucial ingredient:

Music helps to relieve the tedium with 80 per cent globally saying they find waiting times to be less dull when music is playing. This figure rises to over nine out of ten people in China. Nearly half of US respondents would like to be able to influence the music playing in-store.

4. Atmosphere matters

Younger shoppers aged 18-24 are most concerned with the atmosphere of any given store, with one in three naming this as a prime reason to visit a physical store rather than shop online.

5. Consumers want to be a part of the in-store experience

According to the study, more than three quarters of Generation Z (18-24 years old in our research) consumers from across the globe assert that they would like the opportunity to influence music played in store.

6. Mobile devices are increasingly used as shopping tools

More than half (54 per cent) of US shoppers agree that discounts and promotions trigger their impulse purchases, and 50 per cent of them would like to receive instantly redeemable offers sent to their phones; among 18-24 year olds, 67 per cent would like such offers.