When was the last time you made an online purchase? If you’re like most Americans, you probably made one very recently. As our world moves to become ever more digital, so do our shopping experiences. While brick and mortar storefronts have traditionally been the staple of retail sales, online shopping is rapidly gaining in popularity.
There have already been a slew of negative headlines for brick and mortars in 2014. J.C. Penney is cutting 2,000 jobs and closing 33 of its stores; Macy’s is cutting 2,500 jobs and closing five of its stores. Loehmann’s, Blockbuster, Target, Sears, Best Buy and RadioShack are all in trouble as well. It is projected that by 2017, 60 percent of all U.S. retail sales will involve the Internet in some way (direct sale or research), and 10.3 percent of total U.S. retail sales will be online purchases.
Why the shift? Don’t brick and mortar stores offer consumers the opportunity to actually evaluate products before purchasing? While this is true, online product reviews speak to quality from experience. A full 88 percent of consumers are influenced by online reviews. Also, consumers believe that it’s often difficult locating a product during an in-store shopping experience.
Do you tend to prefer online shopping over the brick and mortar experience? Please share in the comments, and be sure to check out the full infographic to learn more!