Shoppers prefer to buy big-ticket products in-store than online

Shoppers are still turning to bricks-and-mortar stores over online shopping when it comes to purchasing high-ticket items.

This is according to a survey carried out by Retail Marketing Group, The research looked into consumer purchases relating to milestone life events, and demonstrated that there is still a strong desire for shoppers to go in-store before committing to the final purchase of an expensive item.

Fifty seven per cent of those consumers who were asked bought items such as sofas and TVs in-store after moving into a new home. Sixty eight per cent of the surveyed shoppers purchased high-ticket items such as baby monitors and food preparation items in-store before having a baby.

The survey showed that on many occasions, transparency overcomes convenience and consumers are more confident in their decision-making when able to interact with a product first-hand.

According to the research, people continue to shop in stores because it offers something that an online experience cannot; greater transparency and a more emotional connection to the product.

When asked why they shop in-store, the main reasons given included; it’s a better means to look at the actual product (28 per cent), it allows them to check the quality (28 per cent) and consumers prefer to see a product in real life to help visualise how it will look in the home (21 per cent).

The results of the survey highlighted why it is vital for brands and retailers to recognise how to tailor consumer experience strategies to meet the demand for an in-store experience, especially when it comes to purchasing high-ticket items.

Retail Marketing Group said the secret to captivating consumers through their purchase journey is to provide an outstanding customer experience that is personalised to the needs and wants of each shopper. One of the most effective ways is through in-store brand ambassadors, it claimed.

Commenting on the research, Andy Tow, managing director at Retail Marketing Group said: “The modern customer is overwhelmed by endless information and confused by all of the options at their disposal. This is why there is such value in the work we do, providing expertise on the shop floor.

“A brand ambassador has the power to educate and guide customers towards the best purchase for them. In our survey, we know that consumers feel excited over certain purchases and a brand ambassador can really add to that experience, leaving lasting effects. Among other things, a brand ambassador can address concerns, offer advice, showcase products to enhance their value and make customers feel more appreciated.”

Added Stephen Sculley, CE in-store execution manager at LG: “It can often be hard to make consumer electronics products stand out in such a saturated market. We’ve been effectively using brand ambassadors within our retailers for many years now to bring products to life in the final stage of the customer journey.

“To deliver the desired results, a brand ambassador must have the ability to create an emotive, personal connection and be confident and passionate in their demeanour when addressing customers. This is a key opportunity to find out more about them and understand how a product can fit into their lifestyle.”