Consumers Still Would Rather Shop in Person

A new survey finds that 46% of consumers prefer the brick-and-mortar experience over online.

January 18, 2021

SAN FRANCISCO—Today’s consumers have embraced online ordering with delivery or at-store pickup, but many also want to shop in person, according to Raydiant’s new report “The State of Consumer Behavior 2021.”

“The goal for big box stores, retailers, entertainment venues, hoteliers, restaurants, and others who depend on in-person experiences remains the same: Create an experience so memorable that a customer will put aside their concerns and return to your location,” the report said.

Many consumers still prefer shopping in person. In fact, 46% of respondents said that given the choice, they prefer to shop in person rather than online. This represents a 9% decline from the previous State of Consumer Behavior 2020 report.

Customers still prefer the experience of interacting directly with products, with 33% of respondents preferring to shop at physical stores because they like to see and feel products, while 26% enjoy the overall experience of shopping in person. COVID-19 has had a major impact on consumer habits. The report found that 40% of respondents visited physical locations less frequently since COVID-19 hit.

Brand loyalty is lacking, with 48% of respondents saying they have replaced products they typically purchase at physical stores with competitors’ online alternatives. A quarter said that they switch brands more often today than ever before.

Brands are doubling down on improving the offline customer experience, with 29.8% of respondents stating in-location customer service has gotten better in the past year. Positive offline experiences can make a big impact. Ninety percent of consumers said they are more likely to return again, 61% of consumers say they are likely to spend more at a location, and 65% of consumers said they are likely to spend more online with a brand—all if they have a positive offline experience.