Sep 28, 2017
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NRF's new Consumer View report reveals brick and mortar is far from dead

Sep 28, 2017

The National Retail Federation (NRF) has introduced a new quarterly consumer behavior report called Consumer View. Key findings include that consumers still prefer going in store to online shopping.


The report is designed to capture data and analyze trends relating to consumer behavior, both online and in stores. It focuses on loyalty, technology, and other issues retailers are scrambling to understand in the changing retail landscape.

NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Solid research is the basis of informed decisions, and we want to be sure the industry has the best information available as it seeks to meet consumers’ needs."

NRF is working with Toluna Analytics to produce the report. For the debut issue, Toluna polled 3,000 consumers in July.

Key points from the first report include the fact that only twenty percent of consumers consider themselves online shoppers. Instead, three quarters of those polled still shop the majority of the time at brick and mortar. This is in line with last year's trends.

NRF's study also found that two thirds of millennials and Gen Z consumers still prefer to shop at brick and mortar. NRF's findings are in keeping with other recent studies that have revealed consumers still want an in-person retail experience. Another study last week revealed millennials are more inclined to shop in store than online.

Shay said, "Despite the changes in our industry, there is an appeal to seeing and touching merchandise in person and being able to engage with fellow human beings that has yet to go away. Even younger shoppers see the value of the store.”

Half the millennials polled say they go to a store for the social experience. Social experience includes food options and entertainment. Millennials also said they are going to stores to pick up online orders and speak with a sales associate.

Two thirds of all consumers surveyed said they appreciate new technology as it helps streamline their store experience. Tech benefits that customers noted they liked included in-app store navigation and mobile checkout. Consumers did not respond as well to digital displays, in-app messaging and associates who used mobile devices.

The report will be released quarterly. It has a margin of error of 1.8 percentage points.

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