New RichRelevance Study Reveals the Physical Store Still Takes Precedence for Holiday Shopping

Survey reveals Americans overwhelmingly disapprove of stores being open on Thanksgiving Day 

San Francisco, CA — November 5, 2015 — Shoppers will complete almost half of their holiday shopping – browsing and buying – online this year (NRF, Oct. 2015), and retailers are prioritizing a seamless “omnichannel” experience for shoppers who hop between store, web and mobile. The centerpiece: the store, which remains the key advantage for traditional retailers.

RichRelevance®, the global leader in omnichannel personalization, today announced the results of a new study that illuminates consumer preferences and sentiment around the physical store this holiday 2015 season.

The study surveyed more than 1,000 consumers across the U.S to pick out the trends and themes that will define the in-store shopping experience this holiday. Key findings include:

Americans Says No to Shopping on Thanksgiving Day

  • Roughly 2 out 3 Americans (64.51%) hate or dislike the trend of retailers opening stores on Thanksgiving Day.
  • Only 1 in 10 (12.53%) respondents said they like it or love it.
  • The practice may cannibalize Black Friday store sales: 6 of 10 people (60.74%) said they would not shop on Black Friday if they shopped in the store on Thanksgiving Day.

As the store evolves to incorporate digital capabilities and more seamlessly blend with online channels, the RichRelevance survey illuminates the role of the store, as well as the frustrations and opportunities with in-store shopping. The survey found that retailers can implement simple digital innovations to yield big rewards.

The Store: Fulfillment, Merchandising Advantages

  • The number one reason that Americans head to the store is to get an item immediately (58.36%).
  • The second most popular reason is to gain ideas and inspiration for holiday gifts (41.74%).
  • Avoid shipping costs ranks last on the list of reasons (28.37%), which is not surprising as most retailers offer free holiday shipping.

Long Lines Demand Attention & Omnichannel Innovation

  • Long lines at checkout ranked as the #1 frustration among shoppers (cited by 72.85% of respondents).
  • Mobile check-out in the store was the #1 most valuable feature that retailers could offer this holiday (57.04%).
  • Convenient in-store pick up for items purchased was also cited as a valuable improvement by over half (51.37%) of those surveyed.

Blending the Digital and Store Experience

  • Over half of Americans (52.68%) cited out-of-stock or unavailable items as a main frustration with the store.
  • 1 in 5 are frustrated by ‘sales associates who can’t help them find what they need’  (20.36%), as well as ‘prices and items that don’t match what they researched online’ (21.07%).
  • The good news: consumers welcome a digital fix to these shopping woes.  Roughly 4 in 10 shoppers (37.08%) feel that self-service kiosks to check pricing, availability and product recommendations are one of the most valuable store features this holiday.

“As the influence of online retail continues to grow, the store remains a holiday tradition – and important for the practical and inspirational advantages it offers to consumers,” said Diane Kegley, CMO of RichRelevance. “Even better for traditional retailers, new digital technologies and advances in in-store personalization can fix nearly all of the main frustrations shoppers experience in the store. This is great news for traditional retailers as they strive to gain the largest operational, marketing and merchandising edge from the store in their battle with Amazon this holiday and beyond.”


Renee Newby

BPR for RichRelevance



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This post was written by RichRelevance

ABOUT RichRelevance
RichRelevance is the global leader in experience personalization, driving digital growth and brand loyalty for more than 200 of the world’s largest B2C and B2B brands and retailers. The company leverages advanced AI technologies to bridge the experience gap between marketing and commerce to help digital marketing leaders stage memorable experiences that speak to individuals – at scale, in real time, and across the customer lifecycle. Headquartered in San Francisco, RichRelevance serves clients in 42 countries from 9 offices around the globe.
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