Is the party over for the return of shopping in physical stores? It could be, according to consumer data from Mirakl, the SaaS platform provider.
In a global survey of more than 9,600 shoppers, researchers at Mirakl found that consumers are getting fatigued by inflation and are turning more frugal. The poll revealed that 86 percent of respondents in the U.S. “say inflation has made them look for better value when shopping. As a result, 71 percent expect to move more of their spending online in the next 12 months to find better value.”
That expected shift to online follows a year of slower online growth and higher foot traffic in physical stores. As shopping becomes more transactional, the report’s authors said the data in the survey “reveals the urgent need for consumer-facing businesses to focus on providing more products at competitive price points to maintain customer loyalty.”
Avoiding brands due to higher prices is already having an impact on loyalty. The research showed that 43 percent of respondents globally “stopped shopping with a specific retailer as a result of rising prices,” while 17 percent of those polled “continue to shop with the brands they trust regardless of price, putting pressure on brands that rely on loyalty from high-value customers to take agile approaches to product and pricing strategy in order to ensure growth.”
Adrien Nussenbaum, cofounder and co-chief executive officer of Mirakl, said consumer expectations are increasing “even as the game becomes harder for retailers. The data clearly shows that shoppers have a renewed focus on price and convenience, and only a small fraction of customers are unconditionally loyal to their favorite brands as prices skyrocket.”
Nussenbaum said the current economic environment, “consumers are relying more than ever on marketplaces to provide the experience that they expect, intensifying pressure for every retailer to develop a clear marketplace strategy. There is a clear mandate for retailers to offer everything from expanded assortments and more affordable price points to better shipping options — without compromising on a strong brand experience. Business leaders must make shrewd strategic decisions today in order to come out ahead.”
Regarding online product availability, 53 percent of respondents in the U.S. “agree that the products they need have been out of stock more frequently in stores in the last six months.” The report’s authors said these short-term out-of-stock challenges “are yet another contributor to long-term behavioral shifts in favor of e-commerce.”
The data showed that when a product regularly purchased, in-store is out of stock, “half (52 percent) of shoppers try to find it online often or very often. If they find what they’re looking for, nearly three-quarters (71 percent) shop for it online the next time they need it.”