MADISON, N.J., Nov. 14, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — The retail industry is in the midst of epic change and while some predict the end of brick and mortar stores, a recent Coldwell Banker Commercial Affiliates survey conducted online by Harris Poll aimed to explore current shopper preferences and trends to determine the real state of commercial real estate today.
According to the survey, nearly half (47 percent) of U.S. adults surveyed prefer to make purchases in-store over shopping online.
"Despite doomsday headlines about the retail industry and how e-commerce has taken over, our survey has found that Americans still enjoy and remain loyal to in-store shopping, regardless of the retail climate," noted Fred Schmidt, president and chief operating officer of Coldwell Banker Commercial Affiliates. "When asked a similar question in 2016, 43 percent of Americans preferred to shop in-store over online, and this year it has ticked up to 47 percent of Americans. All in all, this shows that brick-and-mortar retail remains steady, but there is work to be done to keep the industry relevant."
The survey responses also were segmented into the following generational categories: Younger Millennials (ages 18-29), Older Millennials (30-34), Gen Xers (35-49) and Baby Boomers (50-69).
Retail Technology is Making an Impression
As U.S. adults become more comfortable with technology in every aspect of their lives, the affinity for it seems to be spilling into their shopping preferences as well.
- Self-serve checkouts: Over one-third of U.S. adults (35 percent) say that in-store technology, like self-serve kiosks and checkouts, improves their shopping experience.
- Staying in Touch: When it comes to staying in touch with their favorite brands while shopping via in-store tracking and notifications, Younger Millennials prove that they are digital natives, with 4 in 10 (41 percent) showing interest in this.
- Virtual Retail: The application of virtual reality (VR) is a relatively new concept in the world of retail, but it seems American adults are becoming more comfortable with it. In 2016, 10 percent of Americans were open to using augmented or virtual reality while shopping in store. This year, 17 percent of U.S. adults were open to this, while nearly 3 in 10 Older Millennials aged 30-34 (28 percent) reported interest in VR technology while shopping in store.
"Increasingly, American households are introducing more and more technology into their day-to-day routines, and it’s only natural for them to expect more from their retailers," says Schmidt. "Not surprisingly, the Millennial crowd is more interested in these features than other generations and I expect these numbers to grow over time, not just as we become exposed to more tech, but also as Gen Z acquires more purchasing power as they grow older."
Mom-and-Pops Remain Popular, Even Among a Younger Crowd
Despite the easy availability of goods online and in big box stores, it seems Americans across all age groups still value local small businesses and often prefer to shop in boutique stores.
- Over 40 percent of U.S. adults (42%) say supporting local small businesses is important to them as they make decisions about where to shop. While Baby Boomers are more likely than Gen Xers to say this (45% vs. 37%), Millennials aren’t too far behind at 38 percent.
- Millennials lead other generations when it comes to their preference to shop in-person at smaller boutiques or shops, instead of shopping at larger department stores (27% vs. 17% of Gen Xers and 16% of Baby Boomers).
"Across the board, Americans prefer to support locally-owned, small businesses, whether a traditional mom-and-pop or a more refined boutique store. Naturally, one might ask, ‘what will this mean for large, big box stores?’, and the answer is that they too will have to adapt," added Schmidt. "In order to remain relevant, big box and department stores will need to look at their large stores and consult with their brokers about reconfiguring space to create a more appealing, boutique look to encourage more foot traffic."
Full survey findings are available on the Coldwell Banker Commercial website.
This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of Coldwell Banker Commercial Affiliates from August 15-17, 2017 among 2,001 adults ages 18 and older, including 194 Younger Millennials (18-29), 160 Older Millennials (30-34), 479 Gen Xers (35-49), and 884 Baby Boomers (50-69). The 2016 survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of Coldwell Banker Commercial Affiliates from September 14-16, 2016 among 2,069 adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.
About Coldwell Banker Commercial Affiliates
Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC, dba Coldwell Banker Commercial Affiliates is a division of Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. The Coldwell Banker Commercial brand has been a premier provider of franchised commercial real estate brokerage offices, recognized globally as a company that puts the client first while delivering individual, distinctly different service. Coldwell Banker Commercial affiliates cover territory throughout North America, South America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia. Coldwell Banker Commercial is an industry leader in providing commercial real estate solutions that serve the needs of tenants, landlords, sellers and buyers in the leasing, acquisition, disposition and management of all property types. Each office is independently owned and operated. Coldwell Banker Commercial® is a registered trademark owned by Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. For more information, visit: www.cbcworldwide.com.
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