Nearly half of consumers (46 percent) now prefer to shop online instead of in a store, but there’s an unexpected twist.
Currently almost a third of customers shop online at least once a week, according to a new Walker Sands study.
And only 4 percent of consumers studied did not shop online at all.
But in-store shopping is making a comeback among younger shoppers, ages 18 to 25. For this group, 58 percent prefer to shop at a physical store.
And these young people are shopping less online (23 percent weekly, compared to 37 percent weekly for ages those ages 26- 35).
Consumers overall say that unique experiences are what cause them to shop in brick and mortar stores. 18 percent say product demonstrations are a reason they shop in stores.
Still, technology continues to mold the way we shop and the next frontier is shopping by voice with Amazon Echo or similar voice assistants. And drones will also play a role.
“Voice ordering is emerging as an important channel for retailers to engage with consumers,” said Walker Sands.
16 percent of those studied already have an Amazon Echo and 6 percent use Google Home. Another 20 percent are planning to purchase a voice assistant speaker in the next year. These devices “could forever change the way retailers interact with customers,” said Walker Sands.
Already nearly 1 in 5 consumers have made a purchase through a voice controlled system like Amazon Echo. This trend will only increase with the release of the Apple HomePod.
Walker Sands studied 1,600 consumers for its Future of Retail 2017 report.