Internet retailing continues to grow as technology sweeps the globe, a communications and commerce revolution unprecedented in human history, big news, gets lots of attention, exciting, scary, wow.
Or, maybe not so much.
A new report from a company called Timetrade pushes back against some of the hype and e-commerce love. The report notes that physical stores dominate retailing so thoroughly that calling it a mismatch is understating the case to the point of absurdity. And while e-commerce is expected to more than double by 2020 to about $550 billion, the money spent at stores will still be nine times what is spent on-line that year.
The Timetrade report is based on in-depth survey of 1,029 consumers about their shopping patterns and motivations. While the limited sample hardly qualifies it as hard research, the report does make a number of interesting points related to on-line versus bricks-and-mortar.
- 87% of consumers say they plan to shop in physical stores in 2015 at least as often as in 2014.
- 85% say they go into stores to “touch and feel things.”
- 71% say they would prefer to shop in Amazon’s physical store versus Amazon.com.
- 65% report that if an item they want is available online or in a nearby store, they prefer to shop in the store.
- Mobile shopping is cited as a trend, but when consumers are looking to buy something, just 13% use a mobile device to do so. Most use mobile to browse, research products, compare prices, and then look for the nearest store location.
- Nearly 90% of respondents are more likely to buy when helped by a knowledgeable staff member, and 50% value the expertise of sales associates.
- 63% say that if an item is the same price at four different retailers, they decide where to shop based on the overall customer experience they have.
- If a knowledgeable sales associate recommends items the customer may need based on what they know about the customer, 64% said they would leave the store much more satisfied.