56% of U.S. shopping done in physical stores

According to 44% of consumers, stores gave them the best sense of the brand.

Despite the growth of the omnichannel experience, 56% of U.S. shoppers still consider physical stores their main shopping channel, as opposed to 10% who shop mainly online, according to new data from market research agency Lightspeed.

Working with BookingBug, the polls found that 93% of customer journeys are happening across multiple channels. Consumers admitted to jumping between channels while shopping, according to a new study from The Modern Consumer.

Glenn Shoosmith, CEO of BookingBug, said, “People have been writing about online shopping nibbling away at the revenues of offline retailers for years. Yet, as any retailer worth their salt understands, the two channels aren’t exclusive. In fact, more and more often shoppers are switching between the two.”

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What is the appeal of physical stores? According to 44% of consumers, stores gave them the best sense of the brand, compared to only 15% who felt that way about shopping online. Plus, window shopping online or in-store is still an important aspect of the purchasing process. Seventy-two percent of customers said they research products online before buying them in store, while 48% said they have looked at products in store before purchasing online.

“It’s clear these physical locations played a key role in helping customers understand a brand’s identity, as well as providing key information about products and services. It’s time for retailers to reconsider how we engineer the in-store experience, and focus it on the customers where it really makes a difference," Shoosmith added.

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Although 30-40% of consumers increased their digital spend last year, as many as 76% expected it to remain the same in the next 12 months.

What would get more shoppers into physical stores? About 90% noted that product availability would be the most important store improvement, while 80% said trained staff and 87% said better staff attitude and knowledge.