Accenture Research recently conducted a survey that evaluated 15,000 consumers across 20 countries to rank their shopping experiences across channels. The research suggests that consumers may be having second thoughts about the benefits of online shopping. And no one should write off stores just yet.
Accenture Research also found significant signs of a swing back to stores. While almost half of all respondents (46 percent) said they plan to purchase more online in the future, 28 percent said they also would be shopping more in-store.
And in mature markets, the evidence for a shift is especially strong, with 16 percent of consumers now planning to shop more in-store, versus just 9 percent a year earlier.
That’s not the only surprise to emerge from our most recent survey of consumer expectations (see back page for research methodology). Fewer consumers now cite “convenience” as the main reason for shopping online. In fact, an overwhelming majority (91 percent) told us that it’s easier to complete a purchase in-store than either online (57 percent) or by mobile (36 percent). What’s more, when it comes to fulfillment, most told us that scheduling is more important than speed; and about one-third indicated that they are buying more in-store and carrying home compared to a year ago.
These findings clearly challenge some commonly held assumptions about what consumers want. They also indicate that retailers struggling to provide a seamless, cross-channel customer experience may need to re-think key aspects of their approach.