Eighty-eight percent of shoppers cited making in-store purchases in the past month, compared to 59% online and 38% on retailers' mobile apps, according to a recent DMI survey. But the research also found that 42% of respondents prefer to browse on mobile devices, compared to 30% in-store and 28% on desktop computers.
Fifty-five percent of respondents said they are Amazon Prime members. The Amazon Prime members indicated they were 44% more likely to shop in-store at least once a week. But 49% of respondents said Amazon is the top place to discover new products, followed by 45% who said social media and 38% who said search engines were the primary tool for finding new products, the survey found.
Out of the 34% of survey respondents who encountered artificial intelligence technology while shopping, 54% said they were either satisfied or very satisfied with the AI tools, the survey found.
Though consumers are using digital tools to make purchasing decisions, they continue to shop offline. DMI's research appears to illustrate that consumers will use artificial intelligence tools, mobile technology and Amazon's search engine to find new products, but ultimately they prefer to pick up their goods in-person and like to get answers to product questions from in-store staffers. DMI's survey found that 76% of respondents said store visits provided the best way to communicate with brands, compared to 59% who said email and 56% who said phone calls were the most satisfying way to communicate with companies.
DMI's research appears to show that Amazon's dominance in the online retail marketplace is not necessarily a bad thing for brands, however. Retailers can learn from the company about how to better serve their customers. Beyond being a vehicle for finding new products, the survey also found that 31% of shoppers said they shopped on Amazon for free shipping and 19% said they shop there for fast delivery. The online retailer has made efforts to speed up its delivery operations, possibly pitting itself against established delivery players like FedEx and UPS.
"People can find pretty much anything they want on Amazon, usually at the best price," Michael Deittrick, DMI's vice president for strategy and chief digital officer, said in the report. "All retailers have to embrace this customer experience model: No-hassle returns. When you make a mistake, you own it with the customer."