Immediacy or convenience? That is the question. The answer: both.
According to ChoiceStream’s 2013 Survey of Consumer Opinions on Audience Targeting and Online Advertising, consumers favor in-store or online shopping based on their priorities for a specific purchase. For example, customers who purchase products in-store instead of online most often do for instant gratification. Sixty-one percent respondents who purchased in- store instead of online said it was because they wanted their purchase right away, while 60% said they wanted the benefit of being able to see and touch the item. Forty-three percent said it was easier to purchase in-person, 27% said they might need to return the item purchased, and 26% prefer in store because they might need to ask questions.
Many of these consumers are heading to the store armed with information, or quick access to it via mobile. Of the 1,000 people surveyed, 66% said they conduct research online about a product or brand before they visit a store, and 24% said they prefer to use their mobile devices for price comparisons while in the store shopping. Twenty-one percent of responds made their purchase online after leaving the store. Only 3% of customers surveyed said they would actually make a purchase on their device while still in a store.
When it comes to mobile shopping, customers aren’t in a hurry to leave the desktop behind, although the survey results confirms that smartphones are gaining momentum: Of more than the 80% of respondents surveyed who own a smartphone, more than 64% claimed to spend an hour or more per day using their device, although that time is mostly used interacting via social apps or sites.
The study also revealed mixed preference in terms of online advertising. For example, 56% of respondents indicated that they search or browse for the content or product mentioned in the ad after seeing it, while only 44% actually click on the ad. Additionally, the study revealed that only 2% of respondents had made a purchase in response to a retargeting ad, while 44% were deterred by such ads. Native ads can also have a backlash: Although 15% of respondents said they enjoy ads when the content is useful or entertaining, 68% said they felt cheated when they found out the content they were viewing was a paid ad.
The results of the survey indicate that marketers need to stay flexible when reaching out to consumers, who continuously vary their shopping methods and experiment with mobile device options–keeping in mind consumers’ ever-changing preferences for immediacy or convenience.