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Stores still matter for more than half of European shoppers: study

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Most European shoppers (53%) prefer to buy in a physical store, while 60% now research their purchases online before buying in a store, new research suggests. 

At the same time, six in 10 (63%) shoppers from the EMEA region use their mobile phone while they are shopping, found The Real Retail Story EMEA report from real-world intelligence specialist Blis, while 80% of those aged between 25 and 34 do so. This appetite for digital commerce extends to the store: 32% said they would like to see self-checkout options in order to make payment faster, while 27% would be encouraged to make in-store purchases if brands enabled them to improve their shopping experience through augmented reality or digital wardrobe functionality. This, suggests the report, points to the importance of new hybrid shopping experiences.  

More than half of those who consider themselves to be impulse buyers say they have been driven in-store by mobile ads while outdoors. Some 89% of those purchases were prompted by mobile ads while they were outdoors.  

“Despite headlines about the death of the high street, we are heartened to see that more than half of consumers still crave that in-store experience to touch and feel the products they buy,” said Diane Perlman, chief marketing officer at Blis. “In this new era of retail, real-world intelligence informed by location data is an essential shopping tool for targeting shoppers while they are out and about, as it allows brands to understand the truth about what people are actually doing.”

Most shoppers see themselves, found the study, as savvy shoppers (60%) who look for bargains online before buying in-store, while 36% are bargain hunters, looking for the cheapest deals. More than half (57%) of employed respondents said they were impulse buyers, a group strongly influenced by out of the home advertising. Some 67% of 25 to 34-year-olds said they had gone in-store after seeing an outdoor ad. 

Focusing on the UK specifically, the Blis report found that 43% of Brits said their shopping habits would be affected by Brexit, with more than half of those (55%) citing ‘less disposable income’ as a specific impact. This is a worry shared by people across all employment statuses and, as a result, 40% have stockpiled items – chiefly food  (49%) and household goods (44%).

Image: InternetRetailing Media/Paul Skeldon

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