Why Consumers Still Prefer Brick-and-Mortar Shopping

Allison Howen
by Allison Howen 18 Aug, 2014

There is no doubt that ecommerce is growing as an industry, yet it still only makes up 8 percent of the total retail market.


Because of this, Ripen ecommerce conducted a study to shed light on what makes American shoppers more likely to make purchases in-stores than online. The findings reveal that the majority of shoppers (30.8%), unsurprisingly, like to "see or feel" items in person before making a purchase. Additionally, 29.9 percent of shoppers cited instant gratification as a reason why they purchase in-store instead of online, followed by 16.9 percent of shoppers worried about privacy when shopping online and 14.4 percent of shoppers wanting to save on shipping by making purchases in-stores.


"Our survey found the largest portion of users 'want to see or feel item in person' or 'want an item right away.' These are obviously two big obstacles for ecommerce companies," said Ripen's Marketing Director David Rekuc. "But they aren't insurmountable. Online retailers can offer free samples to get their products in consumers' hands and, while most small e-retailers can't offer same-day delivery nationally, there's no reason they can't consider it for their local shoppers."


In addition to Rekuc's suggestions, there are a variety of other ways merchants can try to close the gap between traditional and online shopping. For example, technology like virtual fitting rooms (offered by companies like Fits.Me, Clothes Horse and True Fit) can help merchants improve consumer confidence. This is because these solutions enable shoppers to virtually "try on" apparel items before making a purchasing decision. Furthermore, displaying security badges on check out pages (like VeriSign or TrustE) can ease consumer security fears, while offering free shipping promotions is also a good way to persuade shoppers to complete purchases online.