MADISON, N.J. (October 29, 2019) – Despite rising popularity of online shopping, nearly all consumers (99%) shopped in a physical store in the past 12 months. New research commissioned by Coldwell Banker Commercial® and conducted online by The Harris Poll assessed American preferences surrounding in-store shopping.

The Coldwell Banker Commercial consumer survey found consumers chose to shop in store over the past 12 months for ease, immediacy and experience. Details from the survey on why consumers chose to shop in store in the past 12 months include: to purchase a product they needed immediately (61%), experience a product before buying it (55%), browse and get ideas (50%) and take advantage of in-store sales / coupons (49%).

“Consumers still want the experience of in-store retail, and the numbers show they’re also looking for personalized assistance,” said Daniel Spiegel, managing director of Coldwell Banker Commercial Affiliates. “Retailers can drive people to stores by creating stellar experiences and customer service. I recently went to a new store that was set up like a market with various vendors around the space. Perhaps it’s the new department store model. Clearly, there’s still a strong desire for in-store shopping, retailers can get more creative with their spaces to attract shoppers.”

Retail Shopping This Holiday Season

The holiday season is the best time for retailers to draw consumers with special deals and convenience. But it’s also an opportunity for brick-and-mortar retailers to create unique experiences for consumers and to present options not available online, like personal assistance, speaking with local shop owners or browsing in person for unique gifts.

While consumers are split between online (51%) and physical stores (44%) as their preferred option for buying holiday gifts, more than 9 in 10 consumers (92%) do plan to shop in a physical store for gifts this holiday season. The survey found consumers intend to shop in store this holiday season for specific reasons:

  • To take advantage of sales / coupons (55%)
  • Experience a product before buying it (50%)
  • Look for unique gifts (49%) and to find something specific (49%)

Other Notable Survey Findings

  • Physical stores are preferred by most consumers for 4 out of the 5 polled purchase types. The majority of consumers say physical stores are the most preferred shopping method for major appliances (81%), clothing / accessories (70%), health/beauty products (67%) and home décor (67%). Roughly 2 in 5 consumers (44%) prefer physical stores for buying holiday gifts.
  • Shopping in physical stores make consumers feel good. More than 4 in 5 consumers surveyed (81%) say they feel they are making a positive contribution to their community by shopping in a physical store. Over two-thirds (68%) of consumers say retail therapy is a great way to relieve stress.
  • Consumers value in-store experiences and personalized assistance. Over two-thirds (68%) of consumers say when they shop in a physical store they tend to look for in-store experiences. Half of consumers (50%) say they would sacrifice spending less on a product online in order to get personalized assistance/advice from an in-store sales associate.
  • Younger generations are more likely to go to stores to kill time and spend time with friends. In the past 12 months, younger age groups are more likely than most older age groups to say they have shopped in a physical store for the following reasons:
    • 18- to 34-year-olds are more likely to have gone to stores to kill time than most older age groups, 35% compared to:
      • 20% of 45- to 54-year-olds
      • 15% of 55- to 64-year-olds
      • 9% of 65+-year-olds
    • 18- to 34-year-olds are more likely to have gone to stores to spend time with friends/family than their older counterparts, 33% compared to:
      • 24% of 35- to 44-year-olds
      • 23% of 45- to 54-year-olds
      • 20% of 55- to 64-year-olds
      • 15% of 65+-year-olds

The survey of over 2,000 U.S. adults ages 18 and older assessed American preferences surrounding in-store shopping.

Full survey findings are available on the Coldwell Banker Commercial News section of website.

Survey Methodology

This survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of Coldwell Banker Commercial Affiliates from September 24-26, 2019, among 2,027 U.S. adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables and subgroup sample sizes, please contact please contact Kristin Cockerham, G&S Communications for Coldwell Banker Commercial.

 About Coldwell Banker Commercial Affiliates

© 2019 Coldwell Banker Commercial® and the Coldwell Banker Commercial Logo are registered service marks owned by Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. Coldwell Banker fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. Each franchise is independently owned and operated. Any services or products provided by independently owned and operated franchisees are not provided by, affiliated with or related to Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC, Coldwell Banker LLC, dba Coldwell Banker Commercial Affiliates nor any of its affiliated companies.


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