In an effort to further explore the difficulty retailers face when designing both digital and brick and mortar shopping experiences, Continuum’s 2012 Service Design study uncovered some surprising sentiments around consumer preferences when it comes to shopping both online and in-stores.
The number one reason people choose to shop either in-person or online: convenience and not price. This was a surprise, given that many large national big box chains have begun to fiercely combat a trend known as ‘showrooming’ where consumers browse a physical store before buying an item online, presumably because it is cheaper. While showrooming is still something that shoppers enjoy, with 70 percent saying they found browsing in stores and then finding the product cheaper online a satisfying experience, the data shows there is clearly a benefit for retailers to concentrate not only on price but also on convenience. And yet different consumers have different definitions of what they consider to be convenient. The bottom line: a one-size-fits-all approach to service does not work, especially at a time when retailers are selling in bricks-and-mortar stores, as well as online.