A.T. Kearney: Stores drive most sales, online and off

Chicago – Physical stores continue to be customers’ preferred shopping channel and a place where the most significant consumer and retailer value is created, according to a new report by A.T. Kearney.

The firm’s “Omnichannel Shopping Preferences Study” found that stores play a crucial role in online purchases, as two-thirds of customers purchasing online use a physical store before or after the transaction. The survey covered all age segments — teens, Millennials, generation X, baby boomers, and seniors.

According to the report, most shopping experiences span multiple channels. Consumer channel preference varies by stage in the shopping journey, although the most common preferred shopping journey is exclusively store-based for each stage. Fifty-five percent of consumers in the survey prefer to use both stores and online throughout the entire journey.

“A strategy based on leveraging the appeal of the physical store supported by digital is the best formula for capturing the maximum number of sales, building sustainable customer loyalty, and creating opportunities to cross-sell,” said Michael Brown, A.T. Kearney partner and study co-author.

In addition, 90% of all U.S. retail sales happen within four walls of a physical store, and more than half of all online retail sales are captured by retailers with physical stores. The store makes a significant contribution to converting the sale, even when the transaction is eventually registered online. The source of value creation (brand building, product awareness) is often distinct, or decoupled, from the place of value capture (sales transaction).

"The decoupling of value capture is important for retailers to understand as they consider resource allocation decisions across channels to ensure that the true value the physical store creates is accounted for properly," said Mike Moriarty, A.T. Kearney partner and co-author of the report.

Click here
to read the Omnichannel Shopping Preferences Study Report “On Solid Ground: Brick-and-Mortar is the Foundation of Omnichannel Retailing.”

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