Post-pandemic shopper prefers in-store shopping

A case of covid-induced cabin fever has left Aussie shoppers longing for the advantages of purchasing in-store.

A survey of more than 1,500 Australian and New Zealand consumers revealed that 55% of customers prefer to shop instore.

Another 31% said they’d prefer to shop both in-store and online, meanwhile 10%t said they preferred shopping exclusively online.

When asked what they miss about shopping in-store, many respondents revealed

·       A yearning to try things on in-store (49%)

·       A desire to touch things/see things up close (48.5%)

·       Pining for the experience of being in a physical store (30%)

·        Availability of choice when shopping in-store (17%)

·       Personal service offered in story (17%)

Emarsys APAC Managing Director, Adam Ioakim, says coming out of lockdown, retailers should not underestimate the value of a premium in-store experience in building customer loyalty. 

While online shopping has its many advantages, being able to replicate the experience of trying out items or being able to see and touch them in the flesh remains a challenge. Retailers with an online presence should take note to ensure that their digital offerings provide an immersive experience.

The study also revealed customers’ major turn offs when shopping online. This included failure of free returns, items being unavailable at checkout, poor customer service experience, inaccurate product images or not seeing the item shown and difficult or lengthy returns process.

The study also revealed offerings and experiences that consumers want to see in the future like greater loyalty benefits, faster click and collect offerings, more customisation of offers, promotions and marketing to their preferences, and having multiple click and collect options.

Ioakim added “The option of click and collect offers the same kind of convenience in having an item available straight away when shopping in-store, but when the experience fails to deliver on this, consumers will be very easily turned off. An inconvenient click and collect process is in fact enough to turn off more than a fifth of consumers from shopping with a retailer.”

Overall, the main factors impacting a customer’s decision making are discounts, with 74% identifying this as the biggest loyalty inducement, fast and easy delivery, and an easy purchasing process. Ranking second, more than half of shoppers claim a fast and easy delivery is a key influence on loyalty.   

“The pandemic has certainly made consumers care more about good customer service online, but it’s still no surprise to see that discounts remain a key loyalty driver.” Inconveniences such as slow delivery or difficult returns process are enough to make your customer switch to another retailer.” said Ioakim.