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Consumers Like Online Shopping Better Than In-Store

According to a recent Bazaarvoice study comparing feedback from online to in-store shoppers, the average feedback rating among 19-24-year-olds was 4.48 (out of 5.0) for their online purchases, compared to 4.40 for their in-store purchases. However, those aged 55-64 and 65 and over were much more likely to report satisfaction with their online than offline purchases.

Most customer feedback, whether a purchase is made online or in a store, comes from purchasers in the 35 to 65+ age range, says the report. However, in-store buyers aged 19 to 24 are more likely to go online to give their feedback for the products they purchase. The older the in-store shopper, the less likely he or she is to leave product feedback online.

Across the board, data shows that in-store shoppers are less satisfied with the products they purchase in stores, compared to those who buy online. And purchasers aged 55 and older were much more satisfied with their online purchases versus those who make their purchases in store.

The data debunks the myth that older consumers are less comfortable with online buying; young consumers aren’t the only ones loving the convenience of shopping online. And, there seems to be some truth to the stereotype that women enjoy their shopping trips more than men. Whether they buy in-store or online, men and women are just as likely to give online feedback about the products they purchase.

But women who buy in-store are more likely to be happy with their purchases. Women who buy something in a store rate it four to five stars (out of five) 87% of the time. Men who make a purchase in a store only assign four or five stars to products 80% of the time. Research underscores that men find online shopping an effective way to avoid the hassle of in-store shopping, says the report.

Many factors could drive these phenomena, says the report.  Online purchasers may have more access to research, feedback from other consumers, and more product options online, so they simply make better choices.  Or maybe the in-store experience sullies product satisfaction. In fact, 70% of shoppers use their smartphones while shopping in the store, a clear indication that in-person sales reps don’t give shoppers all the information they need.

Additional findings from the study:

  • Online buyers were far more likely than in-store buyers to receive an email asking them to review their purchases (80% vs. 45%)
  • During after-work hours, mobile visits to retail websites match non-mobile visits. From midnight to 5 AM, the plurality of shoppers are using iPads

iPad users spend 3% more time on retail websites than computer users and nearly 16% more time than other tablet and mobile users.

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