Thursday, July 25, 2024

Survey: Seven In 10 Consumers Expect To Shop More In-Store In Next Six Months.

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As popular as online shopping has become, in-store remains a major part of most consumers’ regular habits, according to results from a survey of more than 1,000 shoppers conducted by SPAR Group, which provides merchandising, marketing, and distribution services to retailers and brands.

SPAR’s findings show that among its sample of consumers ages 18-64 – where respondents were screened to be the primary or secondary shopper in their households – more than 80% prefer to purchase groceries in-store, and more than 45% choose to shop in-store at discount, convenience, home improvement, and apparel stores. Additionally, seven in 10 surveyed expect to increase in-store shopping in the next six months.

As to results pertaining to specific retailers, 23% of consumers rank Walmart as the best shopping experience, driven by those 25-54. While female consumers give Aldi a high score for shopping experience, males tend to favor Costco.

A significant proportion of consumers are, and want to be, more tech-savvy during their shopping experience. Three in four (76%) use mobile applications while shopping, 47% for price checks and comparisons, 40% for lookup and promotions, and 35% to access or download promotions. Four in 10 allow their preferred retailer access to data for a more personalized experience, and many surveyed expect AI to play a role in product search, checkout, and online ordering.

Key motivators for in-store shoppers, according to SPAR, include the ability to try on or demo products, select new products, and plan meals. The most important attributes for a successful shopping experience once in the store include customer service (71%), a speedy checkout (69%), and an engaging atmosphere, with the store playing an important role in the product value chain and maintaining customer loyalty.

The areas where stores need to improve, these respondents say, are shelf inventory management, staffing, and tech. More than half (55%) say product availability remains an issue, 43% feel that stores do not have enough staff, and 55% indicate product availability and locked product as negatives.

“Several storylines from the data conclude the need for companies in the industry to be even more dedicated to engaging shoppers at every point in the buying journey,” SPAR Group CEO and President Mike Matacunas says. “The next generation of leaders in retail and consumer brands will differentiate on service, both from an in-store and application point of view. Operating a physical store must be reinvented to provide value to today’s consumer. The physical layout, the experience, staffing, product availability and responsiveness need to work in concert.”

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