Consumers combine in-store and online shopping behaviors
In-store shopping is already being combined with online shopping. Consumers are merging the two without even thinking about it. The Internet offers far more than price comparisons and is becoming an integrated part of shopping behavior. With shopping, as well as with many other activities people engage in throughout the day, it has become meaningless to talk about online and offline as two separate realities. Retailers who want to stay in sync with their customers need to acknowledge this.
Brick-and-mortar retailers that are facing decreasing turnover, despite an increasing visitor turnout, may think that consumers are getting fickle. Arguably, however, consumers are actually less fickle than ever – they simply want everything. It is no longer the case that some people want better in-store service, while others prefer having a greater range of choices available online. Instead, they want both. Likewise, it is not true that some consumers want upscale, high-street luxury, whereas others want the cheapest bargain-basement deals. Again, they want both.
From 1995 to 2006, the share of global consumers who answered in the affirmative to the two questions: “I always like to buy things on sale”, and, “I