Majority of customers prefer brick-and-mortar

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Despite the growing influence of online and digital shopping, over 70% of consumers prefer to shop for consumer packaged goods from retailers with a physical presence — whether shopping in-store or online — as opposed to 29% who shop primarily online, according to results from a recent survey by DXC Technology published in an IDC InfoBrief: “Winning Over Shoppers in the Digital Age: A Guide for Retailers and CPG ­Companies.”

Going against conventional wisdom, the survey revealed that showrooming strengthens brick-and-mortar stores, with 36% of consumers buying in-store after exploring products online. Of those surveyed, 94% say a store associate’s help is important in feeling confident they are buying the right product. The survey also found that same-day or next-day delivery or in-store pickup options are not key differentiators — unless enterprises are trying to reach specific groups or segments of customers.

Also, same-day or next-day delivery represents just about 9% of total shopping, though Generation X (33%) and Millennials (28%) use it more. Additionally, buying online and picking up in-store also represents 9% of total shopping, with Millennials (24%) and Generation Z (13%) using it more.

While some say traditional loyalty programs have little influence, 57% of shoppers say online promotions are important, according to the survey, and 54% of shoppers admit that their experience with promotions has improved over the last year. Consumers are also more likely to feel satisfied with their purchases when shopping in-store than with pure-play e-commerce retailers. In fact, over 60% of respondents are confident of purchases they make in-store.

“Winning the customer can be daunting, so retailers should leverage their advantages and double down on their strengths,” said Vijay Iyer, vice president and general manager of Americas consumer industries and retail at DXC Technology. “If you are an omnichannel retailer, you need to tenaciously focus on in-store services that deepen and strengthen your engagement with customers. If you are an e-commerce retailer, you need to lead with the convenience factor and use artificial intelligence to predict consumer behavior.”

The survey also highlighted different ways retailers can build strong engagement through services and process improvements, ultimately giving shoppers the confidence they need.

Seventy percent of respondents feel confident they are buying the right products when stores offer free, no-hassle returns. This indicates an opportunity for retailers to enhance customer satisfaction by ensuring returns can be processed easily and even consider rewarding in-store returns with promotions and discounts.


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