In-store shopping will be the most popular retail channel among U.S. consumers this holiday season, according to a survey of 2,500 respondents.
“This year we found that consumers value their in-store experiences — in fact, most will make several shopping trips to their favorite brick-and-mortar locations in preparation for the holidays,” said Tammy McGill, manager of research and market insights at InComm, the payments-technology firm that commissioned the survey, in a press release. “However, shoppers expect an efficient experience that provides them with holiday gift inspirations, good deals and in-stock products.”
Nearly a third of the survey respondents cited festive decorations, displays and the sounds of the season as an important part of their holiday shopping experience. Moreover, about one-quarter said they anticipate being able to find inspiring gift ideas they would not find online.
Respondents also disclosed their seasonal pet peeves. Among the holiday turnoffs, in declining order: crowds (42 percent of respondents cited this), having to wait in line (20 percent), the prevalence of negative attitudes (12 percent) and finding that an item is out of stock (10 percent).
The takeaway for retailers, McGill says, is that shopping efficiency is the main factor influencing where consumers will shop this holiday season. Almost a quarter of the respondents cited quick-and-easy shopping as the primary factor influencing their decisions, while 20 percent said they will focus on doorbusters and store deals. Some 16 percent of the respondents said they care most about free shipping and delivery, and 13 percent said they look for the in-stock availability of products or services.
By Brannon Boswell