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New Study Says American Shoppers Prefer Physical Stores vs. Online

Even with the rise of online retailers, American shoppers still appreciate the advantages of brick-and-mortar stores.

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A new study commissioned by June20, a company that creates interactive and engaging retail displays, found that 84 percent of Americans prefer to shop at brick-and-mortar stores or at a combination of online and in-store retailers.

The study of 1,000 U.S. adults conducted by Propeller Insights in October 2017 found that while American consumers still love the brick-and-mortar shopping experience, the online shopping experience offers benefits they don’t easily get in stores like user reviews, videos and specifications they need to help them make choices when buying a product.

When asked what they like about the online shopping experience that is missing from an in-store experience, 42 percent of Americans say they miss the ability to compare items, and 31 percent of Americans miss the easy access to rich information about products that the in-store experience doesn’t provide.

“Our research shows that Americans gravitate to online shopping because they like having more choices and the ability to compare items with rich content and information at their fingertips. This helps them make their buying decisions,” said Jason Seed, COO of June20. “However, our research also reveals that Americans are craving the curated experience that being in a physical store brings—65 percent of Americans said they visit a physical store because they like to see and touch a product before buying it.”

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While online shopping has become a common practice, there are aspects of the real-life shopping experience that American consumers still relish. Americans said the following benefits make buying a product at a store more satisfying than shopping online:

  • Being able to get exactly the thing they want – 62 percent
  • The immediacy of the experience – 61 percent
  • Being able to see the product before it is delivered – 58 percent
  • Having a hands-on experience with the product before purchasing – 53 percent
  • Being able to ensure that the product being purchased is undamaged – 53 percent

While Americans enjoy the physical experience of shopping, almost all of them (91 percent) say there are benefits of online shopping they would like to experience when shopping in-store. Chief among them:

  • The ability to find the best price on an item – 52 percent
  • Not having to waste time in lines – 50 percent
  • Being able to find user reviews, videos and other product information – 47 percent
  • The general ease of online shopping – 35 percent
  • It allows for shopping on-the-go – 34 percent
  • Easy access to rich information about products – 31 percent

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