Four fifths of consumers visit stores before major purchase finds study

27th February 2018

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Low consumer confidence is leading shoppers to postpone large purchases, with nearly four fifths visiting physical stores to research items before completing their purchase, according to new research.

Almost a quarter of customers spend up to six months on research before  making a considered purchase, when it comes to buying expensive items such as a new car, sofa, kitchen or bathroom. A larger number (28 per cent) will typically spend up to a month researching available options until making a decision, saying they need to be confident they are making a good choice.

The survey also found that shoppers are combining in-store and online research to ensure they are well informed about products and deals, with 79 per cent saying they have identified an expensive product online before visiting a store to check it physically; 70 per cent had bought an expensive item online only after seeing it in-store.

The study, carried out by ecommerce agency PushON, consulted 1,000 UK consumers as part of its Webrooming vs Showrooming report.

“Parting with large amounts of cash is a huge decision for consumers, as they need to be sure they will like the product after they’ve bought it,” says PushOn managing director Sam Rutley. “It’s clear from the research that consumers don’t feel confident enough to make expensive purchasing decisions straight away and are taking a long time to research all their options to make a final choice that they know they’ll be happy with.

“There are a number of factors that are affecting customer’s decisions, whether that’s price, customer service, the quality of the product or the delivery options. Of course, shoppers want to make sure they’re getting the best deal for their money. Therefore, it’s up to retailers to close the purchasing gap by providing a truly omnichannel experience and engaging with shoppers on various channels to build better relationships. This way, shoppers will have all the information they need to make an informed decision and then follow through with that final purchase.”