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Study: Convenience trumps price for both in-store and online shoppers

Boston -- The number one reason people choose to shop either in-person or online is convenience and not price, according to the results of a new survey released by Continuum, a global design and innovation consultancy. Continuum's 2012 Service Design Report looked at data from more than 1,000 consumers across the country and uncovered the top reasons they choose whether to shop in-stores or online.

The top reasons respondents say they shop in stores are:
• For convenience (40%);
• They don't trust the quality online (22%);
• They don't want to pay for shipping/returns (17 %);
• For better prices (17%); and
• For personal interaction (4%).

The top reasons respondents say they shop online are:
• For convenience (43%);
• It is easier to find what they are looking for (29%);
• For better prices (25%); and
• To avoid interaction with employees (3%).

The fact that convenience seemed to matter more for shoppers than price was a surprise, given that many large national big box chains have begun to fiercely combat a trend known as 'showrooming' where consumers browse a physical store before buying an item online, presumably because it is cheaper. But showrooming is still something that shoppers enjoy, with 70% saying they found browsing in stores and then finding the product cheaper online was a satisfying experience.

"There is clearly a benefit for retailers to concentrate not only on price but also how they are designing as holistic an experience as possible for their customers to be able to efficiently interact with their brand whether it is in-person or online," said Craig LaRosa , principal of Continuum's Service Design group. "A one-size-fits-all approach does not work when it comes to designing a great customer experience or service."