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Most shoppers still prefer to use online and stores together: study

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Most UK shoppers prefer to buy in a store, while using online to research their purchase, a new study suggests. Some 94% research online before going into store to buy, according to research from, while 78% say they like to go into store to see and feel an item before going online to find the best price. 

The digital marketing agency questioned 1,056 UK adults and found that 85% preferred to buy goods in-store, despite the convenience of online shopping. Footfall to stores has fallen, but 82% of those who say they’d rather buy in store say that’s because they prefer to have the product as soon as they’ve bought it.

ONS figures, meanwhile, suggest that most sales still take place in stores, rather than online. In January 2019, 18.8% of all sales took place online, according to ONS figures, while the remaining 81% mostly took place in stores. 

Gareth Hoyle, managing director of said: “Retailers who utilise digital technologies to drive in-store footfall, whilst tracking and attributing customers to their digital spend are setting themselves up as most likely to succeed in the modern age.

“In an ideal world, consumers would rather visit a store to make a purchase, though due to time constraints, stock issues and ultimately convenience, many turn to shopping online. This is a lesson for retailers to ensure their digital presence is working as hard as it possible can for them, offering an omnichannel journey and an experience that is most convenient for customers.”

He said that technologies such as Google Store visits allowed retailers to attribute digital marketing spend to footfall and use beacons and other proximity marketing tools to send notifications and offers to shoppers’ smartphones. “Retailers with a loyalty scheme or e-receipt service are proving to be the most savvy with attributing digital spend to in-store footfall as they know who their customer is and can attribute in-store sales to their email address – the same email address that Google can link back to their search history and record of which ads they were presented with,” said Hoyle.

Image: Fotolia

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