July 6, 2006, 12:00 AM

Store locators score big with 68% of online shoppers, new study says

The popularity of store locators on retail web sites is underscored by findings that 37% of shoppers prefer to browse online and buy in a physical store, 32% prefer to touch a product before buying, and 44% are wary of online credit card usage.

68% of online shoppers cite store locators as one of the most helpful features of retail web sites, says a new study from J.C. Williams Group, The E-Tailing Group and Start Sampling. The popularity of store locators on retail web sites is underscored by findings that 37% of shoppers prefer to browse online and buy in a physical store, 32% prefer to touch a product before buying, and 44% are wary of online credit card usage, the study says.

The study, “Transforming the Multi-channel Shopper,” asked shoppers to name web site features that were “very” or “extremely” helpful (rating them 4 or 5 on a 5-point scale) in making a purchase decision. 68% of respondents cited store locators, which ranked third behind customer reviews (92%) and keyword search (71%).

The study also found that 37% of respondents had purchased a product online and picked it up at a store and 31% had purchased a product online and returned it to a store. In addition, it found that 19% of “heavy frequent” shoppers had printed a gift registry online, then purchased in a store; ditto for 25% of “medium frequent” shoppers and 32% of “light frequent” shoppers.

The study was based on an online survey conducted in April 2006 of 2,472 U.S. shoppers.

 

 

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