Sept. 27, the National Retail Federation launched
Consumer View, a quarterly report designed to gauge
areas including consumer behavior and shopping trends
related to stores, online channels, customer loyalty and
retail industry is changing more rapidly than ever
before, and this new vehicle will help us continue to
regularly track those changes,” NRF President and CEO
Matthew Shay said in a news release. “Solid research is
the basis of informed decisions, and we want to be sure
the industry has the best information available as it
seeks to meet consumers’ needs. That applies whether
people are shopping in-store, online, on smartphones and
tablets or with whatever innovation tomorrow brings.”
is working with Toluna Analytics to produce the report.
Toluna surveyed 3,002 consumers for NRF between July
20-25 to produce the initial edition. The results have a
margin of error of plus-or-minus 1.8 percentage points.
inaugural report finds that despite the growth of
e-commerce, only about a fifth of U.S. consumers are
primarily online shoppers; more than three-quarters are
shopping at bricks-and-mortar stores just as much as or
more than they did a year ago.
According to the report, 21 percent of consumers
surveyed are primarily online shoppers, defined as those
who purchase more than half of their items online. By
contrast, 79 percent said they purchase half or less of
their items online. Among the “Millennials” and
“Generation Z,” 34 percent 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 percent are aged 18-34
compared with 72 percent of in-store shoppers aged 35 or
older, while 53 percent of the online shoppers make
$75,000 a year or more and 71 percent of in-store
shoppers make less. And 53 percent of online shoppers
live in a city of 50,000 people or more while 63 percent
of store shoppers live in a smaller community.
Among shoppers overall, 69 percent said they go to a
store because they need something right away and 65
percent wanted to see an item before purchasing. Among
Millennials, 55 percent go to stores as a social
activity, 50 percent to pick up an item bought online
and 44 percent to talk to a sales associate. In both
groups, 66 percent said they go to stores simply because
they prefer to shop in stores.
Compared with a year ago, 50 percent of all consumers
said they shop in stores about the same amount, while 28
percent said they do so more often, for a total of 78
percent. Only 22 percent shopped in stores less often.
Among Millennials, 34 percent are shopping in stores
about the same but 49 percent are doing so more often
and only 17 percent less often. Millennials said they go
to stores more often because a new store had opened, for
entertainment or food options or because they are
picking up items bought online.