This statistic represents the main reasons why French shoppers would prefer to buy in-store in 2019. From the respondents, 60 percent stated the need to interact with the products in real life. With 58 percent, the possibility to test the products was the second most important reason.
But what if physical proximity is not possible?
In a real life example such as the confinement period during the months of March and April 2020, provoked by the proliferation of the coronavirus (Covid-19) in France, social distancing and necessary shifts in business models had been observed in physical and online markets. In that period, the e-commerce industry saw a massive increase in the total commerce market share with an almost 10 percent increase in Drive orders in France. Relying on physical and inter-personal relations while shopping, would no longer be possible in such situations. This speaks for the development of digital platforms in commerce.
The climate is another issue for which people were slowly starting to adapt their consumption behavior: In 2019, 31 percent of French consumers considered changing their buying behavior to buying more online than in store. Considering this, online shopping has become part of the norm. So what do consumers expect from brands today? Is an online presence fundamental?
Online vs offline shopping
The motivations of companies to adopt a commercial strategy linking e-commerce and the physical store have changed. Previously, it made sense to think about sales. In 2019 things had shifted: the main motivation for online sellers was to increase the visibility of their business and their general activity, whereas the sales were only viewed by 36 percent of VSEs (Very Small Enterprises), SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) and micro enterprise (less than 10 employees) as being important.
By seeking to meet their needs both online and offline, companies were also disrupting their marketing and creating new omnichannel strategies. Through it, they operated both online, via an e-commerce site, while also being present offline, via a physical store. In 2019, more than 60 percent of businesses were using new technologies to improve the user experience and the personalization of the shopping experience.
Consumer behavior and preferences
There are some product categories for which it made sense for consumers to rather buy them in a physical store in 2018, such as pharmaceutical products (85 percent). It was especially the young generation aged 15 to 25 who seem to be interested in the multi-channel availability of products. In an opinion poll carried out in 2019, more than 57 percent of French youngsters reported never shopping a product online after having seen in at the store.
But, people often referred to online customer reviews before buying products either in-store or on the web, when it came the use of online and offline technologies while shopping.
Finally, the way orders are delivered was becoming more diversified and personalized. In 2019, 25 percent of French shoppers had made orders through Drive apps (useful for grocery shopping) or click & collect platforms (22 percent), a growing trend worth observing in upcoming years.
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Criteo. (February 19, 2020). For what reason(s) do you choose to buy in store? [Graph]. In Statista. Retrieved May 25, 2022, from https://www.statista.com/statistics/1114469/reasons-to-buy-in-store-france/
Criteo. "For what reason(s) do you choose to buy in store?." Chart. February 19, 2020. Statista. Accessed May 25, 2022. https://www.statista.com/statistics/1114469/reasons-to-buy-in-store-france/
Criteo. (2020). For what reason(s) do you choose to buy in store?. Statista. Statista Inc.. Accessed: May 25, 2022. https://www.statista.com/statistics/1114469/reasons-to-buy-in-store-france/
Criteo. "For What Reason(S) Do You Choose to Buy in Store?." Statista, Statista Inc., 19 Feb 2020, https://www.statista.com/statistics/1114469/reasons-to-buy-in-store-france/
Criteo, For what reason(s) do you choose to buy in store? Statista, https://www.statista.com/statistics/1114469/reasons-to-buy-in-store-france/ (last visited May 25, 2022)