New research finds that a vast majority of consumers (85 percent) will do more in-store shopping in 2022 than last year, up from the 79 percent reporting increased visits in 2021. Factors driving this return to physical locations include having the simple ability to choose products in person, seeing what’s new, and taking advantage of the store staff’s expertise.
At the same time, online ordering volumes and services like BOPIS are slipping from their 2021 highs, further bolstering the importance of a vibrant retail offering. According to analysis of new research from category growth design agency ChaseDesign, this means retailers need to make digital investments in their stores to attract and retain that returning foot traffic.
“Following nearly two years of building e-commerce into their buying patterns, shoppers are demanding a new physical store experience that integrates the digital benefits they’ve gotten used to. This means creating a more convenient, rewarding, and fun customer journey through the store,” said Joe Lampertius, president of ChaseDesign, in a news release.
“For retailers, this means maintaining and even boosting their expertise in e-commerce and omnichannel in the context of their physical stores. It’s about having the right information presented to shoppers through the use of apps, QR codes, AR & VR, and other digital tech, so the in-store shopping experience can be as dynamic and convenient as online experiences.”
Other key findings from the survey include:
- Shoppers see 2022 as the tipping point for self-checkout, with shoppers citing it as the most used technology tool at physical retail. This means merchandising practices for retailers must change and adapt in order to sustain lucrative impulse purchases.
- Self-checkout joins QR codes and retailer shopping apps as the technologies that best help improve the shopping experience. More than two-thirds of shoppers use self-checkout at least occasionally, while 44% use the retailer’s shopping app and 29% use QR codes—all of which representing increases from previous years.
- Target has set the tone for investing in store design and experience over the past five years, resulting in their delivery of the best in-store shopper experience. While Target’s strategic investment in a more relevant and appealing store began five years ago, Costco, Kroger, and Dollar General have been investing here, too. Both Target and Walmart saw increases in this area. Walmart did move well ahead of Target in having the best app.
Findings from the survey validate the importance of aligning new merchandising offers with changing customer behaviors
For instance, the increased usage of self-checkouts requires a rethinking of marketing at the store’s front-end to replace impulse buy opportunities. ChaseDesign recently worked with Coca-Cola and Walmart to redesign the checkout area and simultaneously improve shopper flow to the registers and enhance grab ‘n go purchases, inclusive of healthier alternatives.
The move to streamline the checkout experience is also leading to completely contactless checkout
An example of this can be seen at the new AmEx Shop in Brooklyn’s Barclays Center. This innovative shopping experience, which allows American Express Card Members to scan their card, pick up merchandise, and just walk out with charges automatically showing up on their statement, was created by ChaseDesign.
“We’re helping manufacturers and retailers optimize retail performance by identifying the barriers and triggers that exist in the shopping experience, and then creating new retail experiences that deliver incremental brand and category growth,” said Lampertius.
During March 2022, ChaseDesign fielded an online survey through its proprietary research platform, mPulse, amongst 1,000 consumers between the ages of 25-54. Respondents were screened to be the primary or secondary shopper in their households.