Twenty-eight percent of consumers are shopping in stores more often than last year, according to new research from branded payments provider Blackhawk Network. Of the more than 3,000 adults surveyed, nearly two-thirds said they shop at retail stores just as often as last year, while only 9% reported shopping at physical stores less often.
Convenience and speed are top motivators sending consumers into stores, according to the report. Nearly all (92%) of respondents indicated to Blackhawk that the in-store shopping experience offers the highest satisfaction among their purchasing options.
Nearly half of the consumers surveyed use a laptop or desktop computer to shop online at least once per month, according to the report. Millennial and Gen Z are most likely to make purchases via mobile phone, with over 80% of both demographic groups saying they've tried it.
As the holidays approach, Blackhawk's new findings remind retailers not to overlook the in-store experience. Cash still has strong footing as a payment option, with 43% of respondents saying it's their top payment method. Fifty-two percent opt to use credit cards, with 42% choosing debit. But that's not the only element driving people to shop in physical stores. This summer, a Shopkick survey revealed that 55% of Gen Z respondents said they'll do the majority of their holiday shopping in stores, compared to 54% of Boomers who said they'd do the same.
But there's still room for payment innovation, regardless of where the customer chooses to shop. Blackhawk found a growing interest in points-based payments, particularly among younger shoppers. And digital gift cards are still gaining traction, with physical cards remaining the favorite for in-store shopping. These insights could inform retailers considering a revamp of their rewards programs; although store credit cards have become less popular in the credit rewards market, there's room for brands to find new ways of rewarding customers for their loyalty.
Building customer loyalty among younger generations could have a long-term payoff for retailers hoping to foster the satisfaction level noted in the Blackhawk findings. Eighty-two percent of Boomers surveyed said they purchase from retail stores at least monthly. As younger shoppers figure out their preferred mix of online and in-store shopping, stores may benefit from focusing on opportunities to amp up their in-store perks to keep shoppers of all ages coming back.