A.T. Kearney Study Finds Brick & Mortar Stores Still Key to Consumers in the Omnichannel World
CHICAGO, IL, Oct 14, 2013 (Marketwired via COMTEX) --
Consumers in the U.S. and U.K. value the retail store experience on
multiple levels and continue to make the vast majority of their
purchases in stores, according to a new study from global management
consulting firm A.T. Kearney.
The study, titled "Recasting the Retail Store in Today's Omnichannel
World," surveyed more than 3,000 consumers in the U.S. and U.K. to
understand how and why consumers use different channels at each stage
of the shopping process. The paper provides recommendations for
retailers to strategically deploy their brick and mortar assets and
integrate these assets with their other channels to drive increased
customer traffic, brand loyalty, and improved performance.
Michael Brown, A.T. Kearney partner and study author noted, "Stores
are important to consumers, but it is critical that retailers with
brick-and-mortar assets understand the new role the store network
plays in optimizing sales, profits, and loyalty across all channels.
Despite the dramatic shifts in consumer shopping behaviors enabled by
ecommerce and mobile, very few retailers have transformed the
physical shopping experience to efficiently and effectively support
the new behaviors. Retailers must know how and why their customers
shop and then retool and redeploy the store network accordingly."
The study found that consumers spend the majority of their time
shopping in stores (61 percent), followed by online (31 percent),
catalog (4 percent) and mobile (4 percent). The physical store is the
channel of choice across all ages (from Millennial to senior
citizens) and household income levels (from less than $25,000 per
year to more than $100,000 per year).
The survey results clearly point out that having physical stores is
more important in some categories than others. Amazon and other
online retailers have a lock on books, CDs, movies, etc., but
cosmetics, apparel, grocery and office suppliers are sectors where
brick-and-mortar outlets are still imperative.
Consumers shop in different stages beginning with research, followed
by testing, purchase, pick-up or delivery and after-sales experience.
Digital channels play the largest role in the research phase of the
process, as shoppers read online reviews and find recommendations
through social media. While stores can and should play some role in
all shopping stages, they needn't play a central role in each to
generate sales across channels.
The study pegs the significance of brick-and-mortar across multiple
product categories, and recommends that retailers strategically
assess and recast the role of stores along the following five
dimensions -- Discovery, Entertainment, Relationship, Transaction and
Dan Farmer, A.T. Kearney principal and co-author of the study stated,
"Regardless of where a product is purchased -- via online or mobile
channels -- the product can be tested, picked up, or returned to the
store. Here again is an opportunity to capitalize on impulse
purchases during these customer visits. Operationally, shipping or
pickup from stores expedites delivery and optimizes inventory across
the store network, which does much to improve efficiency and cost
The results of the consumer study show that while there is some
variation in the role of the store by category (less for books, more
for grocery and home improvement), the study results make it clear
that stores can and should play key roles for customer engagement
across every product category.
The study found that 40 percent of consumers spend more money than
they had planned in stores, while only 25 percent reported online
impulse shopping. Strategies that drive consumers to stores whether
it is to shop or pick up a product purchased online will drive
The paper provides four strategies to ensure that retailers' stores
and store networks remain at the heart of the customer relationship.
Retailers need to innovate to create new formats, optimize locations
based on new shopping behaviors, integrate operations across channels
to create a channel-less operating model and redefine a new set of
customer-centric performance metrics to break down channel barriers
that inhibit peak performance.
To view the paper "Recasting the Retail Store in Today's Omnichannel
World" please go to www.atkearney.com.
About the Study
Study data and insights were derived from the 2013
A.T. Kearney Future of Stores survey. Over 3,000 consumers from the
United States and UK responded to the survey.
About A.T. Kearney
A.T. Kearney is a global team of forward-thinking
partners that delivers immediate impact and growing advantage for its
clients. We are passionate problem solvers who excel in collaborating
across borders to co-create and realize elegantly simple, practical,
and sustainable results. Since 1926, we have been trusted advisors on
the most mission-critical issues to the world's leading organizations
across all major industries and service sectors. A.T. Kearney has 58
offices located in major business centers across 40 countries.
Meir Kahtan Public Relations, LLC
+1 212 575 8188
SOURCE: A.T. Kearney
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