Bricks and Mortar retail is best

Customers prefer to shop in-store and retailers that offer both options are more profitable
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Research from Hitachi Consulting has found that 65 per cent of British people prefer to shop in-store rather than online.

According to the research, less than 20 per cent said they’d rather shop online while 13 per cent said they liked to do a combination of the two.

“Despite the massive growth in online shopping over the years, it’s good to see that consumers haven’t fallen out of love with the British high street,” said Hitachi Consuling’s director of retail, Chris Gates. “The retail sector has clearly been having a difficult time lately, but our research shows that in-store shopping still has a crucial role in the modern shopping journey.”

This research comes at the same time as findings from the Forrester Research published in the New York Times shows that over 90 per cent of sales in the United States still take place in a physical store.

“Well over 90 per cent of sales still happen in physical stores, so there is a huge, compelling reason to think about the physical store as a driver of sales,” commented Forrester analyst, Sucharita Mulpuru.

Forrester’s research echoed a recent shift in the US which has seen a number of previously online-only outlets, such as Bonobos and eBay, opening bricks and mortar stores. The retailers say they’re responding to customers who would rather see a product in person before they make a purchase.

“Clicking on six sizes and having them shipped to me is not a great experience,” noted Bonobos chief executive, Andy Dunn, adding that “the cost of marketing a Web site and the cost of free shipping both ways was approximating a store expense.”

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