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  • 28 Jan 2013

‘How Do You Like To Shop?’ – A Discussion With Popular Bloggers

omnichannel retail research, sofia's journal, scared toast, vivatramp, a little bird told me, the urban umbrellaIn the ever changing world of retail it is interesting to observe how people shop – do the majority go in store, browse online or make orders via mobile? Have their habits changed over the last 5 years? Are they going to change over the next 5?

While many experts spend much of their time looking to answer these questions and more, alongside predicting the direction in which the industry is headed, one of the easiest ways to find out how trends stand right now is to speak to those that are being analysed – the shoppers.

With this in mind we decided to approach a select few from the blogging community, asking them for their response to the question ‘how do you shop?’

This is what they told us… (links to each blog below comments)

“I tend to shop either online or in store, but have never shopped on my phone. If I am shopping online I tend to shop at stores where I have an idea of the fit, or I research a lot to find reviews. I’ve found that certain reviews have really helped me in choosing a style type or size as some reviewers will express whether a style or size fit truly to how the image/information was presented on the online retail site. If I’ve purchased something online that I end up not liking / that doesn’t fit properly I will try and return it in the easiest way possible. If I have the option to return the item to a nearby store then I will always return to the store, if it must be sent back to the retailer than I will mail it.

“I tend to like shopping in store more than online because I instantly have the satisfaction of knowing whether or not an item will suit my body shape and my style. I also like being able to shop for an entire outfit which is easier when you’re able to see clothes all out and side by side.

“The main reason I shop online is due to time constraints. I’ve found it harder and harder to get the time to just go and shop. Shopping online just allows me to shop on the go rather than make a trip to the mall. It’s much more convenient!”
– Bree, The Urban Umbrella

“When it comes to shopping, I’m a chameleon. I switch from savvy online bargain hunter to in-store impulse purchaser at the drop of a (trilby, naturally) hat. I love the convenience of shopping online – I can search around for the best deals and discount codes, get my parcels delivered to my office and never worry about endless queues or tiny changing rooms. But sometimes, I need the bright lights of a flagship store and the promise of lunch afterwards. Shopping can be very social and it’s a shame to give that up for the glare of a computer screen… so it’s the best of both worlds for me.

“Now, where’s my handbag?”
-Jen, A Little Bird Told Me

“If I’m perfectly honest, shopping on the high street fills me with dread and fear, from the people that insist on hogging the clothes rails, to the hideously lengthy queues. If I’m feeling particularly brave, I’ll wrap up warm and peruse the high street early in the morning, safe in the knowledge that I’ll be tucked up at home before the midday rush hits. However, I can usually be found tapping away online with a smug little grin on my face because I know that my goods will arrive safe and sound to my door without me having to go to the trouble of rousing sleepy sales assistants or dodging overzealous shoppers.”
– Bee, Vivatramp

“I’m a veteran online shopper and that’s how I like to shop. There’s nothing better than curling up with a cup of tea to while away a couple of hours ‘window shopping’. I became completely disillusioned with the high street a long time ago – it’s too much hassle these days. That, and I’d see something I loved but my size would never be in stock! Online shopping is so much more convenient for me and with returns being fairly painless it’s a low risk solution for my hectic life.”
– Sofia, Sofia’s Journal

“A while back shopping was a real problem for me. I went every weekend purely for something to do, so the majority of my shopping was done in stores. I used to make quite a few online purchases, or at least check stuff out online with the intention of going into the shop to see it in real life. I also use my phone to browse shops’ websites, but then go onto the computer to actually make the purchase. Although I do love it when a shop has an app which makes it easier for me to shop!

“Like I said, that was a while ago. I’ve been keeping a diary on my blog to see where my money goes, and in general I’ve just tried to be much more savvy. I’ve now realised that a lot of the time if I see something that looks good in store I can find a much cheaper yet very similar alternative online with a bit of research.

“I love the instant gratification that shopping in real life shops gives, but then I also love that there are often so many discount codes and deals floating about when shopping online. As for returns, I always try things that I’m not sure about on in store (with the exception of Primark when it’s busy – then I’ll just buy and it and try at home!), but when shopping online I’m much more careful. I hate paying P&P and hate it even more when you have to pay to send something back. That’s one reason I love ASOS – free shipping and free returns!”                             
– Tabitha, Scared Toast

From this small sample of shoppers we can conclude that online is the most convenient method of shopping, which you may expect from a group of online bloggers, in-store is the most sociable and mobile is just starting to take off, with the help of apps.

The most interesting theme we have found from this gathering of opinions is the use of omnichannel. While many may not be aware that there is a term for shopping in more than one way, it has been demonstrated clearly by the opinions above, and continues to be an important approach to retail. By providing multiple channels for shoppers to buy through (be it in-store, online or via an app) retailers are increasing their chances of finding new customers, keeping existing customers and maximising their levels of customer satisfaction. In short, in an ever evolving world, omnichannel is key to a successful retail business.

Now, if you have a spare five minutes, we suggest you spend it reading the blogs of our contributors.

You won’t regret it.

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