Consumer Purchasing Insights Surrounding In-store and Online Shopping Preferences

As states begin to allow merchants to reopen retail stores, consumers are going out to buy more than just groceriesand they’re beginning to feel more comfortable doing so.

But many consumers are still continuing to purchase goods online and many of them continue to experience difficulties when it comes to delivery.

Here are some insights from consumers about how they’re thinking about in-store shopping, what they’re buying in-store versus online, and what concerns they have when shopping online.

Consumers’ comfort level when shopping in-store

In a recent survey, consumers shared whether they’ve begun shopping in-person now that stores are reopening and how comfortable they are with in-store shopping. 

Aside from grocery shopping, 84 percent of respondents have gone shopping in the last three months. 

Of those respondents that have gone shopping in-person in the last three months, only 13 percent didn’t feel comfortable in any stores. Forty-five percent of these respondents said that they feel comfortable in all stores and another 42 percent were comfortable shopping in some stores.

Respondents that haven’t gone shopping in-person in the last three months, though, have overwhelmingly felt uncomfortable doing so. Sixty-three percent of these respondents said that they’re not comfortable with shopping in-person and only 12 percent of these respondents are comfortable with shopping in-person and just haven’t done so yet.

In-store shopping preferences

Survey respondents also gave their thoughts on what types of items they feel most comfortable purchasing in-person and those that they felt they can only purchase in-person. 

Respondents are most comfortable purchasing food and beverage items in person. This is followed by apparel and accessories, hardware and home improvement items, and electronics.

Respondents not only feel comfortable purchasing apparel in-person, but this is also the category that they feel most strongly can only be purchased in-person.

Only slightly over a quarter of respondents didn’t feel that there are any items other than groceries that can only be purchased in-person. For those that felt that there were certain items they could only purchase in-person, most responded that apparel and accessories were hardest to buy online.

Shipping concerns

While in-store shopping is beginning to increase, online shopping is still a preference for many who are following social distancing orders.

But that doesn’t come without its complications. In the last three months, nearly three-quarters of respondents have had a problem with the delivery of their online order.

Due to concerns about shipping, nearly 40 percent of respondents are planning to begin their holiday shopping earlier this year. Another 12 percent are planning to utilize curbside pickup when possible in order to mitigate shipping concerns for their holiday purchases.

Final thoughts

Most consumers have begun shopping in-store again as states reopen and as they become more comfortable being inside of stores. 

For many consumers, apparel is a staple that they feel can only be purchased in-store and, aside from groceries, this item is what individuals that have begun shopping in-store again have been purchasing most often.

For those buying online, the majority have experienced a delivery issue with at least some of their online orders. As shipping concerns continue, many are planning to start holiday shopping earlier this year in order to receive gifts on time.

Interested in more consumer insights? Find out parents’ back-to-school plans for their children.

Back to Blog Home
Get email marketing insights delivered straight to your inbox.