Why — with all the convenience of get it now same-day delivery — do 60% of consumers still prefer to shop in stores? Why take time out of a busy day to wander the aisles of a local grocery store when a few clicks could have exactly what you need delivered in 2 hours or less? Stores appeal to consumers’ need to experience products in person, to discover new things, to satisfy urgent needs, and find great deals. Even Gen Z, or consumers under the age of 24, would rather head to a store than check out online, and they say that shopping IRL is entertaining as well as practical. Millennials, pushing 40 and strapped for time balancing careers while raising young children, value convenience more than any other generation — and even about half of them still prefer brick and mortar shopping.
Of course, your website still has a significant role to play in driving foot traffic through the store’s doors. Consumers who prioritize convenience in their shopping decisions are likely to lean on brand-owned channels and communications (websites, social media, and email) for product discovery and research. They are also most likely to adopt omnichannel tools that connect the digital and physical shopping worlds, including local inventory look-ups, ordering online for in-store pickup, returning online orders in physical stores, and using pickup lockers (see Survey Analysis: Consumers Focus on Deal-Seeking, Brand-Loyal and Convenience-Focused Shopping, subscription required). Competing on convenience means not only serving consumers well via online channels and speedy delivery; it also means leveraging brick and mortar stores to support the final mile.
For some inspiration, note DSW’s seamless connection from shoppable Instagram posts to product pages with local store inventory information. The North Face also offers in-store pickup information on product pages and geolocation on their mobile site to maximize web-to-store traffic. ASICS includes retailer inventory on store locator pages. The payoff is clear: retailers are crediting store pickup as a key contributor to digital sales growth. To stay current on how consumers are using a variety of channels as they move through their path to purchase, see Keeping Up With Channel Sprawl in Younger Consumers’ Path to Purchase, subscription required.