Research shows, Brick and Mortar retailers are safe.


Clicks won’t be replacing bricks any time soon.

brick n mortar

Online shopping has a number of benefits, but physical stores also have strong key advantages over e-commerce—especially for fast-moving consumer goods. In fact, the majority of global respondents (61%) reported that going to the grocery store is an enjoyable and engaging experience. A similar percentage (57%) thinks grocery shopping in a retail store is a fun day out for the family.

However, Nielsen research shows that clicks do lead to bricks and this is an important take-away for retailers and manufacturers who must engage the consumer early on the path to purchase. There are many touch-points along this path, which include finding the store, making shopping lists, checking prices, researching products, sharing reviews and manufacturer and retailer content on social media and finally purchasing.

“The connected commerce era has arrived,” said Patrick Dodd, president, global retailer vertical, Nielsen. “Consumers are no longer shopping entirely online or offline; rather, they’re taking a blended approach, using whatever channel best suits their needs. The most successful retailers and manufacturers will be at the intersection of the physical and virtual worlds, leveraging technology to satisfy shoppers however, wherever and whenever they want to shop.”

Retailers have a lot of room to grow when it comes to in-store digital enablement options, such as mobile coupons, lists and shopping apps, and in-store Wi-Fi availability. Use of online or mobile coupons (18%) and mobile shopping lists (15%) are the most cited forms of in-store digital engagement in use today among global respondents, with about two-thirds willing to use them in the future (65% and 64%, respectively). Downloading a retailer/loyalty program app on a mobile phone to receive information or offers is used by 14% of global respondents, and 63% say they’re willing to use one when it is available. About one-in-10 global respondents say they log in to store Wi-Fi to receive information or offers (12%), use in-store computers to view extended product ranges (11%) or scan QR codes to access more information (11%). Roughly two-thirds, however, are willing to use these options in the future (66%, 68% and 65%), respectively.

In-store digital enablement options can bring the ease, convenience and personalization of online to brick-and-mortar stores. Instituting digital strategies into the in-store experience is not just a nice-to-have—these options can increase dwell time, engagement levels, basket-size and shopper satisfaction. Among the online respondents in Nielsen’s survey, use of in-store digital enablement options is highest in Asia-Pacific and Africa/Middle East. These regions also exceed the global average for willingness to use in-store options when they become available. Current usage is low in Latin America, but enthusiasm for them is high. More than seven-in-10 Latin American respondents say they’re willing to use the in-store digital enablement options in the future. Mobile coupon usage is highest in North America (26%). European respondents have the lowest claimed usage levels for in-store digital engagement, but more than half (average 55%) say they are willing to try the options in the future.

“At present, shoppers do all of the work putting the pieces together to arrive at their final purchase decision,” said Dodd. “In a competitive retail environment, retailers and manufacturers can add value and differentiation by providing digital tools to help consumers take control of their shopping experience while also increasing sales potential. Mobile in particular can tip the scales in favor of increased shopper control, empowering them to shape the shopping experience more than ever before.”

“Time-starved consumers want to use technology to make shopping faster, easier and more efficient,” said Dodd. “As we’ve seen with self-checkout, one of the more mature flexible retailing options included in the survey, as more retailers incorporate these options in their in-store and online offerings, adoption rates will likely increase.”

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