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How to Get the Omnichannel Shopper Into Your Store

Omnichannel Shopper

Previously we covered the growing trend for online-only retailers to open physical stores to cater to consumers’ desire for a physical, in-store experience [1]. And I’ve got some more good news for brick-and-mortar retailers from The UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper [2] (PDF) study.

The study describes today’s consumer as a “flex shopper” whose approach is dominated by the desire for convenience. While you might think that means shopping mostly online, in fact, the study found that only 39 percent of purchases are both researched and completed online. In the other 61 percent of cases, consumers either research products in-store, buy them in-store or both.

In other words, consumers are nowhere near giving up the in-store experience to shop solely online.

And even when they do buy online, more than half have had a product shipped to a physical store for pickup. Another reason consumers go to physical stores is to return products purchased online. Nearly 60 percent say they’re dissatisfied with the process for returning online purchases by mail.

But that doesn’t mean you can rest on your laurels. Shoppers in the survey who regularly buy both online and in-store, dubbed “omnichannel shoppers,” report making over half of their purchases in-store. However, while 83 percent of them say they are satisfied with the online shopping experience, only 63 percent report being satisfied with the in-store shopping experience.

Clearly, there’s a lot of room for improvement among brick-and-mortar retailers. What are some features consumers would like to see in your store in the future?

Not surprisingly, Millennials are the generation most likely to say they’d use these services. As Millennials come into their own as consumers, these features will become even more desirable.

So What Does the Future of Brick-and-Mortar Retail Look Like?

According to the report, a lot like online shopping. For now, consumers still rely primarily on their desktop computers for online purchasing. But as more consumers get more comfortable with mobile shopping on tablets and smartphones, brick-and-mortar retailers will face even more challenges.

Here are some things to watch for:

Shopping [4] Photo via Shutterstock