Study shows brick-and-mortar stores still largely important to consumers

Posted by Justin Hesser on April 11, 2012

The debate of brick-and-mortar versus click-and-mortar stores continues with a new study by Local Corporation – an online local media company – that showed brick-and-mortar stores are still largely important to consumers, despite the rising use of online resources.

The study showed 90 percent of respondents claiming that a physical store is important to them as most transactions are still done in stores. Rather than purchasing items online, consumers will use those avenues as a means of research with nearly two out of three shoppers using at least one different device to research.

Furthermore, over 60 percent of shoppers will research a product or service several times in one month by using some type of mobile device, be it a personal computer, tablet or smartphone. This research may also be part of the 47 percent of consumers that use a smartphone to look up local information, including directions to the brick-and-mortar store they want to visit.

Although most consumers tend to make the purchases at the actual store, that’s not to say that mobile purchasing still hasn’t gone up. Best Buy’s fiscal year results showed that their physical store sales went down 1.5 percent while their online transactions jumped up 18 percent. Furthermore, many small businesses are conducting virtual pop-ups to help drive sales.

By printing their merchandise against physical backdrops and walls with QR codes below each “product”, consumers can use smartphones to scan these items that will bring them to a virtual cart where they can check out or shop more. Many brick-and-mortar stores are using this method as well, to help combine their online and physical presence.

Whether or not a small business is a brick-and-mortar store or a click-and-mortar merchant, using a FileMaker developer to create a custom database software to keep track of sales and transactions being conducted through pop-up sales or more conventional techniques can help a small business stay more streamlined and efficient when processing this important data.