The way consumers shop has changed dramatically over the past few years, and retailers are feeling the effects of these changes. Specifically, many brick-and-mortar stores are shutting down physical store locations or trying to shift to an all-online model. College students are one of the many driving forces behind the change.
In a recent panel survey, college students stated that 41% of their shopping occurred online, versus 59% in-store (excluding groceries). When shopping online, the most important factors students look for are free shipping and discounts/sales.
Still the majority of students prefer to do their shopping in physical stores. The reasons why students prefer to shop in-store vs. online include: the ability to get products immediately, to touch and feel the product, and because they like to browse while shopping in the physical store. When shopping in-store students are looking for discounts/sales and product quality.
All retailers, both those online and with brick-and-mortar locations, need to continue to adapt to consumers likes and preferences. Nearly half of students agree a store needs to offer more than just products, and that retailers need to provide customers with an “experience”. Similarly, only 21% disagree with the statement “I would rather spend my money on experiences (concerts, travel) than products (apparel, latest technology).”
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