Lots of recent research tells you that online shopping has left traditional retail in the dust, that Black Friday has been overtaken by Cyber Monday, and that physical retail will soon be obsolete. Yet despite all the hype, 87 percent of people say they still intend to shop at retail stores this holiday season, according to new research from retail merchandising and workforce management firm Natural Insight.
“We know that holiday shopping can be stressful, but how can retailers reduce consumers’ anxiety and stress and enhance the in-store experience? That’s what we set out to determine,” said Stefan Midford, CEO of Natural Insight, in a news release. “We [examine] how to improve some of the most common stressors like large crowds and product availability, to keep customers coming back.”
Additional insights from the research:
- Women and men aged 45-59 years old are expected to be the chief demographics making the trips.
- By early December, 93 percent of women will have completed the majority of their in-store holiday shopping, versus only 83 percent of men.
- Only 12 percent of store shoppers expect to spend less than $100 in stores for the holiday season.
- 60 percent of customers visit stores so that they can touch and see the products before making a buying decision.
- 58 percent listed large crowds being the top reason why in-store shopping is stressful; not being able to find what they are looking for was named a close second.
“Retailers have an opportunity to make a real impact by understanding why customers shop in-store over the holidays,” added Midford. “Some people want to get in and out as fast as possible, while others want to browse, get gift suggestions from employees, and enjoy the holiday decor and music. In general, we learned that the experience must be personalized to win loyal customers.”
To date, Natural Insight has collected in-store execution information on behalf of hundreds of brands in over 120,000 stores across North America and around the world. The company is quickly becoming the industry’s largest visual verification platform, with more than 1 million photos captured and verified monthly, and recently surpassed 36 million completed job assignments.
The report surveyed more than 800 people aged 18 and older, randomly selected across the United States, and was conducted using Survey Monkey Audiences.