Foreword Online

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Should We Keep Treating In-store and Online Shopping as Separate Experiences?

Posted by Joe Clarkin on 7/5/16 4:30 AM
Topics: college retail

In the age of the internet, there has always been a line of demarcation across the two primary types of shopping experiences. To shop at home, on your computer or mobile device, has long been considered distinctly different from browsing through racks and shelves in-person. But it seems now like that line is beginning to blur. Here's why, as explained by Jennifer Winters at User Testing Blog:


82% of consumers use their smartphones for research in-store before a purchase

The last time I was shopping in a big box store, I was reading reviews as I meandered through the store. And I’m a bit embarrassed to admit, I was so engrossed in my mobile research, I bumped right into another shopper. I looked up to apologize and in unison, my fellow shopper and I both apologized for the collision. We were both glued to our phones while shopping.

It may not be something we like to admit, but the reality is that most of us are rarely too far from our phones, especially when it comes to shopping, in-store or online.

Omnichannel customers are 8x more valuable than single-channel shoppers

Retail giant Macy’s discovered that its omnichannel customers were bringing in more business than those that shopped in just one channel. Retailers that engage with customers wherever they are, have even more opportunity to develop trust, advocacy, and loyalty. All that adds up to larger and more frequent purchases. A great online experience will help encourage a trip to the store and vice versa.

31% of shoppers using smartphones in-store are accessing promotions

Shoppers using smartphones aren’t just researching products and checking prices; they’re engaging with stores directly and looking for deals. According to Forrester research, 82% of shoppers make their purchasing decisions in the aisle. That means retailers that can engage with them in-the-moment can provide them with the information and incentives they need to make a purchase.

— Jennifer Winter, User Testing Blog
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