For all the talk of investing in digital platforms, brick-and-mortar still wins out as the preferred shopping channel for customers. As many as 90 percent of all retail sales are transacted in stores and 95 percent of all retail sales are captured by retailers with a brick-and-mortar presence.
In fact, physical stores actually play a critical role in online purchases. According to an Omnichannel Shopping Preferences Study conducted by A.T. Kearney, as many as two-thirds of shoppers go to a physical store before or after making an online purchase. The survey looked at 2,500 U.S. shoppers' behaviors and preferences and covered ages from teens to seniors.
The results show that the source of the brand-building is often distinct, or decoupled, from the place of value capture (sales transaction).
"The decoupling of value capture is important for retailers to understand as they consider resource allocation decisions across channels to ensure that the true value the physical store creates is accounted for properly," said Mike Moriarty, A.T. Kearney partner and co-author of the report.
Looking at the omnichannel approach, the study revealed that shoppers prefer different channels depending on the phase of the shopping experience.
About 55 percent of consumers surveyed shop both online and at brick-and-mortars.
"A strategy based on leveraging the appeal of the physical store supported by digital is the best formula for capturing the maximum number of sales, building sustainable customer loyalty, and creating opportunities to cross-sell," said Michael Brown, A.T. Kearney partner and study co-author.
Even for teens, a recent study showed that more than half of the digital-savvy generation prefers mall shopping to online.
In-store still seems to be the preferred shopping location for most consumer demographics. Although online retail is growing, it still only accounts for 6 percent of all retail sales.
-See this A. T. Kearney press release
-See this A. T. Kearney report
Teens prefer malls to online shopping
Mother's Day spending to top $18B, most will shop online
Digital influences $1 trillion in retail sales
U.S. retail sales hit $4.53 trillion in 2013, e-commerce jumps 17 percent
Mobile payments, in-store tracking among key trends to watch