Despite retailers’ increasing investment in e-commerce, most consumers still favour an in-store experience over online, according to a new report by marketing specialist, Blis.
According to The Real Retail Story report, 63 per cent of Australians prefer the bricks-and-mortar experience across most categories. E-commerce was reportedly only preferable in travel retail, and most respondents stated they spend more in-store compared to online.
Blis Australia and New Zealand managing director Nick Ballard said that despite talk of e-commerce being the doom of bricks-and-mortar, the technology creates new opportunities to engage with customers in more effective ways.
“The role of the physical store is as important as ever,” Ballard said.
“But despite the affection for the visceral and tactile joy of shopping at physical stores, technology and e-commerce have conditions Australian consumers with new habits and expectations.
“Consumers do not see a delineation between online and offline shopping, rather the modern consumer journey fuses both worlds and it is imperative that brands and retailers do the same.”
As a reflection of the evolution of the customer journey, the report found that an increasing number of Australian consumers engage in showrooming and webrooming – the acts of visiting a store before buying online, and vice versa.
The study found that 43 per cent of consumers showroom, while 63 per cent admitted to webroom. Another 59 per cent said they actively use mobile phones while shopping in-store to compare prices, check online for discounts, read reviews, and ask friends and family members for opinions on the product.
“Brands looking to succeed in this climate must appeal to today’s shopper by offering a omni-channel experience that uses mobile as the bridge between digital and physical,” Ballard said.
“Understanding consumer motivations, preferences and behaviours, and developing hyper-relevant content at the moments and locations that matter most to consumers is key.”
The report is based on the responses from 5939 consumers, including 805 Australians.
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