online shopping

Consumers like shopping in a physical store — in fact, they prefer it to manage returns as well as to have a tactile experience with a product, according to new research from fintech company Adyen.

Moreover, the research revealed that consumer expectations are not being met. And if they were met, shoppers would spend more money.

Adyen partnered with Morar Consulting to survey 2,000 consumers between 18 and 55. Of those polled, 63 percent said they will “shop more, overall, in store and online, if preferred shopping experience is implemented.” The “preferred experiences” include checkout processes and interactions with sales associates as well as loyalty programs.

Roelant Prins, the chief commercial officer at Adyen, said, “There are things that people enjoy about shopping in stores, and brick and mortar retail isn’t going anywhere. There are also things that people enjoy about shopping online though, and it’s not as simple as just taking what works online and applying it to the physical world.” He added, “It’s about creating a unified experience, where the best parts of online are merged with the best parts of in-store to gives shoppers exactly what they’re looking for. We’ve seen first hand that retailers are rolling out these solutions, and our goal at Adyen is to help these retailers deliver on the promise of unified commerce and set an example about what it will take to succeed going forward.”


Prins said a goal of his firm is to help retailers and brands create a “unified commerce” approach to their business.

Regarding benefits to shopping in a store, 86 percent of respondents said they “want to go to a store to manage exchanges or returns of items purchased digitally.” And 60 percent of those polled ranked “being able to see, touch, sample and try on items as the top reasons to shop in a store.” One-third of respondents said they enjoyed shopping as a “social activity.”

Regarding the notion of “unified commerce,” 78 percent of respondents said they want to “buy or reserve [an item] before going into the store.” And 69 percent said they preferred to browse the store without assistance from a sales associate. The poll also found that 54 percent “want loyalty program information automatically tied to their credit card, even when shopping in-store.”

The survey showed the importance of the shopping experience. Of those polled, 79 percent said they’ve walked out of a store because the lines were too long. The research also found that 10 minutes is the “average threshold for waiting in line.”

Regarding shopping in the future, 59 percent of people “expect mobile payments to be ubiquitous in two years.” And 53 percent of respondents see “AR/VR show-rooming as a norm by five years.” Meanwhile, 34 percent of the consumers polled “want within the next 12 months, the ability to ‘just walk out’ with an item, where they will be automatically charged and can skip the checkout line altogether.”

Researchers identified a new breed of shopper that has a preference for digital services. “[D]ubbed Tastemakers, [these are shoppers] who are driving forward future shopping experiences in retail,” authors of the report noted. “Tastemakers are two times more likely on average to regularly use digital services like Uber, Airbnb and Spotify, they are nearly two times more likely to incorporate social media as part of their shopping, and they are three times as likely to be a go-to source for tech advice.”

Tastemakers are also more likely to “enjoy in-store shopping as an activity than the average person, and they are also more likely to have experienced new ways to pay for their favorite items, such as using a mobile wallet, or interacting with a ‘floating’ sales associate, who accepts payments on the spot, as opposed to a traditional checkout line.”

Prins said Tastemakers are “good news” for retailers and brands as these consumers “actually like to shop more than most. If they can figure out how to best serve the Tastemakers, they can build a blueprint for how to evolve their business for the next generation of shoppers at large.”

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