31% of US consumers need to see or feel a product before purchase

U.S. consumers are so connected with seeing or feeling an item before purchase that 30.8 percent said in a survey that this impetus would lead them to a physical store instead of an online shopping platform. According to a consumer survey by Ripen eCommerce, 92 percent of U.S. purchases still happen offline.

"Of course, 8 percent of a $3.2 trillion industry is still nothing to sneeze at," wrote David Rekuc, marketing director of Ripen, on the Ripen blog. "And with room for more than tenfold growth, the eCommerce market is ripe (sorry) with opportunity for anyone who can uncover and capitalize on the factors holding consumers back from shopping online." 

The survey of more than 1,000 consumers inquired as to what was keeping them offline. With physical engagement with merchandise as the No. 1 reported shopping need, 29.9 percent of consumers reported wanting to take home the items they like as soon as possible as the No. 2 driving force behind offline purchasing.

Other reasons broke down as follows: 16.9 percent say in-store shopping helps protect their privacy; 14.4 percent want to save on shipping costs; 6.5 percent prefer the ease of offline returns.

Coupons are yet another factor that could be keeping consumers offline. A study earlier this month revealed that 59 percent of shoppers said digital coupons held more sway than any other retail promotion. In fact, 92 percent of millennials reported downloading a digital coupon to a loyalty card before heading to a brick-and-mortar.

"The transition from in-store sales to online shopping isn't going to happen overnight, but with so much room for growth (and so many clear-cut avenues for improvement), there's no reason digital retail can't make significant headway," Rekuc said.

For more:
-See this Ripen eCommerce blog

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Sephora realizes 150 percent growth in mobile
Home Depot, Sephora and Starbucks top digital gifting list
 

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