Oct 5, 2022
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Online meets in-store as 70% of consumers prefer omnichannel shopping - report

Oct 5, 2022

Choosing between physical and online retail simply isn't an issue for most consumers with the majority not only preferring omnichannel shopping, but actively combining the physical with the virtual as they use their phones in-store for research and also shop online while in physical locations.

Photo: Sandra Halliday

That insight comes from the latest Bazaarvoice study with the product review/UGC specialist surveying more than 6,000 shoppers and over 400 retailers around the world. 

It found that “the line between online and offline shopping continues to blur and become more fractured. Most consumers seek out multiple touchpoints towards a purchase decision.  Shoppers, through user-generated content, influence other shoppers at all stages in the purchase journey, with social media playing an increasingly important role in discovery, research and conversion”.

Looking at the survey’s stats, almost three-quarters of respondents said they prefer omnichannel shopping. When asked what mode of shopping they felt happiest with, 70% of shoppers said a hybrid of both in-store and online, while only 20% said in-store and an even smaller 10% said online.

And with nearly two-thirds of shoppers using their smartphone in-store, what exactly are they doing? They’re looking at price comparisons (66%), product reviews (62%), advice from friends/family (31%), and product demos (25%).

Both online (63%) and in-store (45%) shoppers also conduct research online before buying. But it’s interesting that after seeing a product online, 75% are more likely to go in-store if it has a high price (49% say to check the quality, and 42% said to get instant ownership).

When researching overall, product reviews (54%) and written reviews (49%) from verified buyers are two of the top types of content shoppers look for, only beaten by price comparisons (56%).

Social media matters too. Over a quarter (26%) use social media to research products, and when purchasing via social it’s mostly from Facebook shops (44%), via ads on Instagram (38%) and via influencers’ Instagram stories (37%).

And while omnichannel fans tend to skew towards younger age groups, more than half of older consumers are also increasingly tech-meet-tradition shoppers. Globally of those aged 25-34, 75% enjoy a hybrid of shopping methods, while for those aged 65+, that’s the case for just over half (56%).

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