Consumers Still Want In-​Store Experience

BY Adam Ambro
Featured image for “Consumers Still Want In-​Store Experience”

It’s more important now than ever for retail clients to be on their A‑game when it comes to advertising, since the holiday shopping season has kicked off early this year. Consumers, after a year made up primarily of virtual shopping, are ready to go back to local retail locations and re-​experience all that comes from an in-​store shopping trip. While we adjust to a COVID-​19 post-​vaccine reality, many are ready to get back to a sense of normalcy. A new study from Uberall shows 82% plan to still shop locally once the world recovers from the COVID-​19 pandemic.

Users read reviews before heading in-store

According to Uberall’s survey, 74% of consumers have a shopping preference that includes a local store at one point or another in their buying journey. Along the way, product reviews from othaudier customers play a large role in a shopper’s buying decision, as 37% of respondents said they research online before they buy in-store.

Knowing where customers are going to shop is crucial. If you combine destination intelligence with AdMall’s AudienceSCAN profile data, powered by SalesFuel, you can accentuate the importance of customer research prior to purchase. In our Local First Shoppers profile, we found 52.8% of the audience read reviews or comments from others who have already purchased the product they’re considering. If you’re looking for where customers are researching these reviews, AudienceSCAN has that as well!

Sticking close to home

That said, not all consumers love the buy-​local movement. Many are still looking for the cheapest, or quickest, deal they can find online, as Uberall found 29% of consumers were agnostic towards buying in-​store or online, if they got a better price. That said, a vast majority, a whopping 71%, say they want to stand by their local business. Additional data points from Uberall include:

  • 37% said they shop locally even when it’s less convenient
  • 20% buy online only if they can’t find what they’re looking for locally
  • 19% buy from the merchants with the best price
  • 14% want to shop locally, but find it easier to shop online
  • 10% buy from merchants with the best product

AdMall’s AudienceSCAN also had similar numbers for consumers looking for that local in-​store experience, with 30% saying they, first and foremost, try to buy locally made products.

Where to buy?

So, we know the desire to buy local products is there for consumers. With COVID-​19 vaccines now available everywhere, consumers not only want to shop locally, they want to shop in-​store. According to Uberall’s research:

  • 43% plan to do more of their shopping in-store
  • 33% will be flexible and make their purchasing decision based on price, availability and convenience
  • 19% plan to shop online
  • 6% aren’t sure

These data points signify that retailers must advertise the great in-​store experience they can offer to consumers. The same Local First Shoppers AudienceSCAN profile previously mentioned showed that 47.5% of consumers make it a point to shop where salespeople are helpful and friendly. This would be the perfect opportunity for your clients to market something along the lines of a “return to in-​store” promotion that features their welcoming staff. Or you could help them design a campaign promoting how well reviewed they are by others who have shopped locally.

AudienceSCAN research showed 34.3% of consumers said that if they have a good experience with a product or store, they will usually share it with their friends using social media or by posting a positive review. Based on the data presented above, if your clients can focus their advertising dollars towards the audiences who are eager to return in-​store and respond well to highly rated service, they will stand out amongst the many retailers who want to convince their customers to shop at brick-​and-​mortar locations.

Photo by Arturo Rey on Unsplash