The explosion of internet retail is the final nail in local retail’s coffin, right?
Without a doubt, digital devices have changed the way customers shop in physical stores. And true, in-store visits are down overall.
But how much has in-store shopping behavior really changed?
That’s exactly what Google set out to find just a few months ago. Partnering with Ipsos and Sterling Brands, the search-engine giant explored in-store shopping behavior and expectations in retail, tech and consumer packaged goods.
What did their survey of over 6,000 people show? Let’s break down the numbers, dispel a few myths and pull a few nails out of that proverbial coffin:
- Search results are actually a powerful tool that can drive consumers into stores. Despite the common belief that search results send consumers exclusively to e-commerce sites, the survey showed that 3 in 4 consumers who find local information in search results are more likely to visit physical stores.
- Consumers want detailed information – online and in stores.
- Online, shoppers find the following information very or extremely helpful in search results: item prices; whether items are in stock at your store; details about your local store (hours, phone number, etc.); other items available at your store.
- In-store, 2 in 3 shoppers who tried to find information didn’t get all the info they needed. And unfortunately, 43% were left frustrated; 41% were more likely to shop elsewhere; and 22% were less likely to buy from the retailer.
- Consumers use mobile devices to fill information gaps. Seventy-one percent of in-store shoppers who use smartphones for online research say their device has become even more important to their experience in-store.
- Search engines are the most popular way shoppers get information online while in your store. While consumers who go online while shopping in-store may look at competitor sites (30% check out a different retailer’s site or app while in your store), over twice as many (64%) use search engine results.
- The relationship between digital shopping and in-store visits is extremely complex. But instead of marginalizing the value of in-store shopping, mobile devices can actually enhance consumers’ shopping experience.
- You can drive more in-store traffic and minimize frustration by providing detailed information both online and in your physical store. Provide the info your customers want, and they’re more likely to have a positive experience while shopping with you.
- What customers find out about you online directly affects the number of in-store visits you receive. That’s why it’s more important than ever to build a great online reputation! And it’s why BARQAR is a smart choice for your local store – helping you to garner more positive reviews, protect your reputation and sell more. Interested? Contact BARQAR today for a free demo of our online reputation management services.