NRF: Consumers Prefer To Shop Stores

A new report from the National Retail Federation found that despite the continued growth of e-commerce sales, only one in five consumers shops primarily online.

In its quarterly Consumer View survey, the NRF found that more than 75% of shoppers are visiting brick-and-mortar stores as much as or more than they did a year ago.

“This report shows that the bricks-and-mortar store is still the cornerstone of American retail and likely will be for many years to come, as consumers seek authentic interaction and experiences with retailers,” said Matthew Shay, president and CEO, NRF. “Despite the changes in our industry, there is an appeal to seeing and touching merchandise in person and being able to engage with fellow human beings that has yet to go away. Even younger shoppers see the value of the store.”

According to the report, 21% of consumers surveyed are primarily online shoppers, defined as those who purchase more than half of their items online. By contrast, 79% said they purchase half or less of their items online. Among Millennials and Generation Z, 34% are primarily online shoppers, but the majority still make most of their purchases in stores.

Demographically, those who shop primarily online are younger, wealthier and more likely to live in a larger city. The survey found 49% are aged 18-34 compared with 72% of in-store shoppers aged 35 or older, while 53% of the online shoppers make $75,000 a year or more and 71% of in-store shoppers make less. And 53% of online shoppers live in a city of 50,000 people or more while 63% of store shoppers live in a smaller community.

Working with Toluna Analytics, the NRF surveyed 3,002 consumers from July 20 to 25 for its initial Consumer View survey.