For the last 3 years, JRNI has been tracking the behaviors of consumers as they move between online and offline, try new services, and advance the notion of what makes a modern consumer.
Between 2017 to 2019, retailers across the globe have improved the way they deliver in-store experiences. Yet, the findings from the 2019 edition of our “Modern Consumer Research Report” show they have plenty of room to improve.
To discover what retail stores are doing well and their greatest opportunities to attract more consumers, we collaborated with independent research firm MarketMeasures. A survey of 2,000 US and UK shoppers between June and July of 2019 yielded the third edition of our Modern Consumer Research.
Read on for an overview of some key findings.
The store experience is improving
In both the US and UK, the percentage of shoppers who rated the in-store experience as "excellent" grew by approximately 50% since 2017.
Retailers across the board have improved in 9 out of the 10 critical areas of the in-store experience.
Areas for retail stores to focus on next
Our survey also revealed concrete steps that brick-and-mortar stores can take to further improve and win over consumers.
Modern consumers would visit physical stores more often if they could:
Gain more access to well-trained staff
Get products into their hands quickly
Experience products in better ways
Focusing on these areas will help to overcome in-store’s shrinking advantage over online in a critical area – immediacy. Since consumers are increasingly enjoying the immediacy of online stores, retailers need to catch up when it comes to the in-store experience.
Offer click-and-collect services
Stores can further fend off online by providing ‘click and collect,’ which is when consumers can order products online and pick them up at the store. US consumers favor click and collect for clothing and household goods, while UK consumers favor it for clothing and electronics.
Our research shows that 54% of consumers click and collect, an increase of 4% since 2017.
Attract shoppers with special events and personal appointments
Retailers can win against online and showrooming by hosting in-store events and setting pre-booked meetings with expert staff. Sixty-one percent of US and 58% of UK consumers said they would be or might be interested in attending events at stores. In fact, in-store events that feature early access to products, book signings, education, and product demonstrations all draw 50% or more of invitees into stores.
Additionally, 57% of consumers would likely take advantage of pre-booking appointments with expert staff. Along those lines, consumers expressed desire for knowledge sharing and service that in-store experiences can provide.
Consumers are increasingly omnichannel
Whether through showrooming, webrooming, or click and collect, today’s consumers are embracing omnichannel shopping. This should not scare retailers.
Instead, they can take steps to leverage online preferences to draw consumers into their physical stores.