Marketers understandably tend to obsess over purchases. Even if they understand an entire journey leads up to a purchase, the actual sale is the tangible result of all their efforts and the thing that puts money in the cof
fers. That means many end up focusing on where that purchase gets made, either online or in-store.
It’s an important data point. And people historically have preferred to buy certain things online and other things at brick-and-mortar locations. But the truth is, today’s shoppers like to browse and research online, even in cases when they intend to buy in a store. In fact, 83% of U.S. shoppers who visited a store in the last week said they used online search before going into a store.1 Factor in things like video and apps, and 93% of shoppers say they’ve used online resources.2
Growth across categories
Not so long ago, buying clothing or shoes online seemed like an odd thing to do. How could you buy something without trying it on? Today, apparel is a truly omnichannel retail category. In fact, 70% of shoppers say they buy clothing both in-store and online, and 23% say they shop for clothes exclusively online.3
Of course, there are still a wide range of categories that are mostly purchased in-store — think household items like cleaning supplies or toiletries, cosmetics, or home appliances. When it comes to groceries, 77% of people say they buy them in-store only.4 But it’s telling that even in these traditionally offline categories, online shopping is on the rise.
Consider this: The percentage of shoppers who have bought sporting goods online grew to over 75% in the first three quarters of last year, significant growth from just six months prior. For large home appliances, overall growth in the online category was also significant during that time period — an increase of nearly 28%. Even food and groceries saw online category growth of 19%.5
A better experience
Overall, 68% of people say they’re looking to do more of their shopping online in the next year.6
Why shoppers prefer shopping online