Demand for more in-store events is growing among omni-channel shoppers, finds study

Customers are becoming more omni-channel than ever before, and this might be a good thing for shops around the globe according to the third annual Modern Consumer Research Report by JRNI.

Despite over half of consumers surveyed preferring to buy online, 74% said they dabbled in ‘webrooming’ to research products online before completing their purchase in-store. Additionally, with 54% of consumers deciding to click and collect, it’s clear that omni-channel retail continues to be a growing global trend.

The report also shows a 3% increase in ‘showrooming’ since 2017, where a customer looks in-store before purchasing online, indicating the variety of ways shoppers like to look for and purchase products, using both online marketplaces and bricks and mortar stores to make a single purchase. This is echoed by a report by Womble Bond Dickinson, which predicts half of retail sales will take place online in the next 10 years.

Another trend identified by the survey revealed a growing demand for more in-store activities and events among consumers, with 64% of shoppers in the US and UK saying they would attend an in-store event if invited to enjoy early access to a product. A further 48% of UK consumers would attend a DIY workshop or demonstration on how to use a product. Perhaps an easy win for the bike industry then, if shops can jump on board with the likes of events such as Local Bike Shop Day to pull in potential customers.

However, the report reveals that just 64% of the shoppers surveyed viewed the in-store shopping experience as a positive one, a rather alarming dissatisfaction rate for bricks and mortar retailers. Despite this, the report argues the future is still bright for those retailers which are actively trying to get more customers in to stores, and improving customer experience: “In both nations, the data shows that by improving the in-store experience, retailers can boost consumer satisfaction.”

That sounds pretty straightforward, right? Seemingly, it’s not. Less than half of UK shoppers surveyed rated their in-store shopping experiences as ‘good’, indicating there’s a lot of room for improvement when it comes to customer satisfaction. On a positive note, that percentage is up 7% since 2017.

Ultimately, the report suggests modern retail customers would visit physical stores more often if they could access well-trained staff, spend less time standing in line and experience products in better ways. When asked which in-store events were most attractive, UK shoppers chose: early access to products, demonstrations, and DIY workshops.

The report argues that although consumers are becoming ever omni-channel through the likes of ‘webrooming’, ‘showrooming’ and click and collect, retailers shouldn’t view this trend as a threat, but instead as an opportunity to draw shoppers in to their bricks and mortar stores.

Hayley Everett

Multimedia Reporter

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