Why Researching Online, Shopping Offline Is The New Norm

by MR Magazine Staff

The pre-purchase shopping routine today takes many twists and turns as consumers move from clicks to bricks with relative ease to browse and buy. While convenient for shoppers, it’s becoming harder for retailers to know exactly where and when the shopper journey actually begins. Consumers today have more tools than ever before to conduct pre-shopping product research online before heading into a store — and retailers that leverage best-in-class digital content, including photos and videos, consumer-generated product reviews, findability based on keywords, and search engine optimization, are more likely to win over the final sale. In our fourth installment of the Retail Dive Consumer Survey, we explored the connection between digital and physical browsing and buying habits, focusing on how often shoppers visit brick-and-mortar stores to see, touch and feel products before ordering them online. Now in our latest and fifth installment, we examine the opposite approach, asking 1,288 consumers how often they research products online before shopping for those items in physical stores. According to our results, the answer is fairly often. Two-thirds of surveyed consumers said they research products online — at least occasionally — before shopping for them in a store. And nearly half take the research online / buy offline path frequently, if not always. Generally speaking, it’s younger shoppers (25-34 years) and especially younger men who are more likely to behave this way. Read more at Retail Dive.