85% of shoppers prefer physical stores

Despite a growth in digital shopping, a new report indicates that 85 percent of consumers would still prefer to shop at a brick-and-mortar store to an online store.

According to a recent survey by TimeTrade, even when given the lure of shopping Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), 70 percent of consumers would prefer a physical Amazon store to the already established e-commerce giant.

And while nearly 60 percent of online shoppers can narrow down a purchase decision to two or three products, making the final decision can be difficult and often ultimately requires a trip to the store. Why? Because 85 percent of shoppers want to touch and feel products before purchasing them.

"The bottom line is customers value the personal experience of the physical store," said Gary Ambrosino, CEO of TimeTrade. "We found that shoppers have done their shopping or discovery online, then go into the store to get help with their final purchase decision."

And in-store purchasing spans all generations. In fact, 92 percent of millennials plan to shop in-store in 2015, as often or more often than they did in 2014.

Other findings from the survey indicate the importance of employee knowledge and service: 90 percent of respondents said they would be more likely to buy when helped by a knowledgeable associate.

As many as 65 percent of consumers look to sales associates to find out which product has the best value; 64 percent turn to associates to determine the highest quality; and 56 percent look to associates to determine reliability. More than half of respondents, 51 percent, report that when they are helped by a knowledgeable sales associate, they are extremely likely to make a purchase.

And while digital purchases are important, mobile is still only a small portion of the overall sales. Of those surveyed, only 13 percent had ever made a purchase using a mobile device.

But the power of digital should not be discounted. Digital interactions are expected to influence 64 cents of every dollar spent in brick-and-mortar retail stores by the end of the year, amounting to $2.2 trillion. And the number of online shoppers is expected to reach more than 1.6 billion by 2018.

For more:
-See this TimeTrade press release
-See this TimeTrade report

Related stories:
Digital to influence 64 cents of every retail dollar spent in physical stores
Increase in shopper attraction for Q4 accounts for 81% of last year's digital commerce growth
Green Monday sales up 15%, third busiest shopping day of the season
Cyber Monday heaviest online sales day in U.S. history
Cyber security affects consumer holiday spending