While online shopping continues to blossom, a new consumer survey indicates that most of them still prefer shopping in stores. That’s because Americans (84%) like being able to inspect and pick out their own products. It’s especially true when it comes to selecting meat, seafood, produce and in-store bakery/deli items where personal preferences are particularly strong.
“Food quality emerged as the most important factor when selecting an item at the grocery store, according to 45% of shoppers,” noted Vixxo, a facility management firm that commissioned the study.
The survey also indicated that nearly two-thirds said they simply favor the atmosphere and experience of shopping in brick-and-mortar stores. These findings may come as a surprise since previous surveys have stated how a preponderance of consumers dislike the hassles involved with traditional grocery shopping.
In recent years, however, several supermarkets have made great strides to improve their fresh offerings and in-store displays to spark impulse shopping and create a point of differentiation from their online counterparts. Other grocery chains like Mariano’s in the Midwest have taken the fresh experience to the next level to lure consumers to their stores.
For the most part, online and brick-and-mortar grocery shopping don’t seem mutually exclusive. Rather, they seem to nicely complement each other by offering convenience and a sensory experience (or sometimes both), as Amazon, Whole Foods and many other retailers have discovered.