Thursday, April 18, 2024

Post-pandemic shopper prefers in-store shopping

While Covid-19 has accelerated online retail growth, consumers are eager to return to in-store shopping, finds new research commissioned by Emarsys.

The survey of more than 1500 Australian and New Zealand consumers revealed that 55% would still prefer to shop in-store if Covid-19 wasn’t a consideration.

A further 31% would prefer to shop both in-store and online. Meanwhile, just 10% would prefer to shop solely 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%) and a pining for the experience of being in a physical store (30%).

Other consumers miss the availability of choice when shopping in-store (17%). Just over a fifth of respondents complained of ending up with items that aren’t quite right when unable to see them in person. Meanwhile, 17% miss the personal service offered in store. 

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,” he says.  

“Retailers with an online presence should also take note to ensure that their digital offerings provide an immersive experience.”

Online turn offs

Emarsys’ findings also revealed consumers’ major turn offs when shopping online. These include:

  • Failure of free returns (50%)
  • Items becoming unavailable at checkout (45%)
  • Poor customer service experience (41%)
  • Inaccurate product images or not seeing the item shown (39%)
  • A difficult or lengthy returns process (33%)
  • Spam communication (31%)
  • Sizing discrepancies/having no size guide (30%)
  • Slow delivery (25%)
  • An inconvenient click-and-collect process (23%)

Consumer desires

The kinds of offerings and experiences consumers want to see in the future include:

  • Greater loyalty benefits (51%)
  • More customisation of offers, promotions and marketing to their preferences (20%)
  • Faster click-and-collect offerings (21.5%)
  • Having multiple click-and-collect options (18%) 

Choosing retailers

Emarsys’ findings suggest that discounts or the cost of an item is still a major incentive for selecting one retailer over another. 74% of respondents identified this as the biggest loyalty inducement.

Ranking second, more than half of the respondents claim a “fast and easy” delivery is a key influence on loyalty.

Meanwhile, an easy purchasing process is most important to just under half of the respondents. 

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