It’s the holiday season, and online spending is already breaking records, with the latest figures from comScore showing 14% year-over-year growth for the first 32 days of the season. But while e-commerce sales growth might be outpacing in-store sales growth (and getting more of the buzz as a result), it turns out that most Americans prefer shopping in-store to online, according to survey results from Ipsos. 59% of the Americans aged 18-64 surveyed online said they would rather make a purchase in-store than on their computer (31%), on their mobile phone (6%), or on their tablet (3%).
The survey reveals some very interesting preference gaps. For example, women are almost 25% more likely than men to prefer shopping in-store (66% vs. 53%). April findings from Bazaarvoice showed that they’re happier with those purchases, too: close to three-quarters of female survey respondents in that study gave the product they purchased in-store a 5-star rating, compared to slightly more than half of the men who bought in-store.
Men, meanwhile, are more likely than women to prefer making purchases on a mobile phone or smartphone (10% vs. 3%), or on a tablet (5% vs. 2%).
Unsurprisingly, younger consumers show a greater inclination to prefer shopping online. 48% of the 18-34 group said they would rather shop on a computer (32%) on a mobile phone/smartphone (11%) or on a tablet (5%), compared to 44% of the 35-49 set, and just 29% of the 50-64 group.
Preferences show a high degree of variance by household income, too. 78% of respondents from low-income households said they would rather buy in-store than online, a figure which drops to 65% among middle-income respondents, and 53% among wealthier Americans. That aligns with survey results from the Conference Board, which found lower-income Americans less likely to shop online this holiday season than their higher-income counterparts.
There is also a strong gap when looking at education level. 58% of Ipsos respondents with a high degree of educational attainment said they would rather make a purchase on a computer (41%), mobile phone/smartphone (9%) or tablet (8%). That falls to 42% among those with a medium level of education, and 31% of those with a low level of education.
Looking at purchases over a mobile phone or smartphone, business owners (36%) and senior executives/decision-makers/business leaders (30%) were by far the most likely to state this preference, at 5x and 6x the national average, respectively. These groups were also the most likely to choose tablet commerce.
- Globally, 56% of the respondents from 24 countries would rather shop in-store, slightly less than the American average. The same gender, age, household income, and education-level gaps found among Americans applied to the global average.
- Hungarians (79%) and Canadians (75%) were the most likely to choose in-store purchases, while South Koreans (15%) were the least likely.
- Half of the Chinese respondents would rather purchase on a computer than via any of the other methods outlined, the highest incidence among the 24 countries. Just 12% of Saudi Arabians chose this method.
- 15% of Indians said they would rather make a purchase on a tablet, 3 times the global average. Just 1% of Hungarians agreed.
- 36% of South Koreans would rather buy via their mobile phones or smartphones than in-store, on a computer, or on a tablet. That means that South Koreans are more than twice as likely to prefer mobile commerce to in-store shopping. On the other end of the spectrum, mobile purchases are unpopular in Belgium (1%) and Canada (2%).
About the Data: The Ipsos data is based on 12,000 online interviews conducted in September 2012 across 24 countries, with adults aged 18-64. The US data is based on a sample size of 500.