Online or instore: How do you shop?


Retailers have made it really easy to buy products online, as well as instore. However, how has this affected how consumers shop? Does it mean that shoppers are more likely to shop online? Read on to find out.

In a survey we conducted recently, respondents were presented 5 options to the question of how much of their shopping they do online. The answer that gained the most votes (257 out of 922) was less than 10%.  Closely followed (208) by the option of 25% to 50 %.  Rather intriguing results we thought, especially as it differs to the picture that is being painted and we wonder if the volume of items they buy online will shift over time. Back in 2017, it was reported around 87% of U.K. consumers have bought at least one product online in the last 12 months.

This made us wonder whether this may change in the upcoming year. Perhaps people were just used to spending their money in-store and had decided that online shopping wasn’t for them. Thus we asked 293 respondents whether they think the amount they spent online rather than in-store will change. Out of the three possible answers, the answer that gained the most votes was that shoppers expect the amount they shop will stay roughly the same. Which is again an interesting result and eludes that shoppers are perhaps stuck in their ways. However, the Office for National Statistics conducted a survey in August 2017 that found that younger people tend to be more active shopping online than their older counterparts.  However, our research also appears to be hot on the heels that John  Lewis and Next online sales figures have increased. Surely this can’t be all young people?

Lastly, we asked our panel of anonymous respondents whether when they visit retail stores if they use their smartphones to help their buying decision, whilst they are still in the store. 569 out of 801 respondents answered with no. This is a high amount and means that 71% of respondents don’t use their smartphones to aid their buying decisions. This could be to check competitors prices or read reviews of certain items. This could potentially become a threat for retailers, as consumers become more knowledgeable of how to get the best deal. However, retailers can combat this. Special incentives can be used to persuade consumers to buy from retailers, even when they are a more expensive option. These factors could include an extended guarantee, easy returns, as well as a well-known and trusted brand. Perhaps retailers adapting more innovative mobile technology could help?

Time will tell as to how retailers respond to these findings and whether they decide to utilize mobile technology. In the meantime, if you would like to talk to us about becoming a mystery shopper, be sure to get in touch.