Eighty-five percent of consumers will do more in-store shopping in 2022 than 2021 — up from the 79% who reported increased visits last year — according to survey results from ChaseDesign.
During March 2022, ChaseDesign fielded an online survey through its proprietary research platform, mPulse, among 1,000 consumers between the ages of 25-54. Respondents were screened to be the primary or secondary shopper in their households.
Factors driving this return to physical locations included having the ability to choose products in person, seeing what’s new and taking advantage of the store staff’s expertise. At the same time, online ordering volumes and services like buy online, pick up in-store (BOPIS) are slipping from their 2021 highs, which doubles down on the importance of a vibrant retail offering, according to a news release on ChaseDesign’s survey’s findings. The category growth design agency’s analysis of its new research concluded that this means retailers need to make digital investments in their stores to attract and retain that returning foot traffic.
“Following nearly two years of building e-commerce into their buying patterns, shoppers are demanding a new physical store experience that integrates the digital benefits they’ve gotten used to,” Joe Lampertius, president of ChaseDesign, said in the release. “This means creating a more convenient, rewarding and fun customer journey through the store.”
“For retailers, this means maintaining and even boosting their expertise in e-commerce and omnichannel in the context of their physical stores,” Lampertius added. “It’s about having the right information presented to shoppers through the use of apps, QR codes, AR and VR, and other digital tech, so the in-store shopping experience can be as dynamic and convenient as online experiences.”
Other key findings from ChaseDesign’s “2022 Shopper Sentiment” survey include:
Shoppers see 2022 as the tipping point for self-checkout, as they cited it as the most used technology tool at physical retail. This means merchandising practices for retailers must change and adapt to sustain lucrative impulse purchases.
Self-checkout joins QR codes and retailer mobile apps as the technologies that best help improve the shopping experience. More than two-thirds of shoppers use self-checkout at least occasionally, while 44% use the retailer’s shopping app and 29% use QR codes — all of which represent increases from previous years.
Target has set the tone for investing in store design and experience over the past five years, resulting in its delivery of the best in-store shopper experience. While Target’s strategic investment in a more relevant and appealing store began five years ago, Costco, Kroger and Dollar General have been investing here, too. Both Target and Walmart saw increases in this area. Walmart outpaced Target in having the best app.
Findings from the survey validated the importance of aligning new merchandising offers with changing customer behaviors. For instance, the increased usage of self-checkouts requires a rethinking of marketing at the store’s front-end to replace impulse buy opportunities. ChaseDesign recently worked with Coca-Cola and Walmart to redesign the checkout area and simultaneously improve shopper flow to the registers and enhance grab & go purchases, including healthier alternatives.
The move to streamline the checkout experience is leading to completely contactless checkout, per the release. For example, take American Express’ new AmEx Shop at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. This checkout-free shopping experience, created by ChaseDesign exclusively for American Express card members, offers both concessions and merchandise items to help fans avoid long lines at sporting and entertainment events. Cardholders can scan their card, pick up merchandise and walk out with charges automatically showing up on their statement.
“We're helping manufacturers and retailers optimize retail performance by identifying the barriers and triggers that exist in the shopping experience, and then creating new retail experiences that deliver incremental brand and category growth,” said Lampertius.