Friday, 12 May 2017

Do You Prefer to Shop In-store or Online? Part 2

If you read my last blog post, you will have seen that I looked into the findings from one of the focus groups I conducted as part of my industrial investigation.  This week, I will be doing the same but with the 25 and over age group that I asked.

For this focus group, there was six 25 and over participants who were asked their opinion about how they like to shop nowadays.  Unlike the 16-24-year-old age group, the 25+ age groups answers were much more split.  The group was quite split with their answers so it made for an interesting discussion to find out their views against the younger age group.  As before, the same questions were asked to compare the results to help with my industrial investigation.

The first question that was asked was to find out participants preferred method of shopping.  This question was very split as three said in-store, whilst the other three participants said online.  The main reasoning for preferring to shop in-store was due to the fact the three liked to try products on/out before they bought them to ensure they would actually like it.  For the three that preferred to buy things online, they had varying reasons as to why.  One participant said that there was a lot more choice to choose from and they get quite addicted to looking at clothes online.  Another said online shopping is more convenient for them as they don’t have much time to go shopping in-store often.  The third participant said they prefer it as there is usually good deals on – which encourages them to spend more.  They also agreed that they didn’t have much time to go in-store as often as they would like.

Participants were then asked what could persuade them to shop the other opposite way.  The answers here were, again, quite varied.  Two participants said they would be persuaded to shop in-store more often if shops were open longer.  The third participant who said they prefer to shop online said that they still shop in-store regularly but would be more likely to go if shop sales weren’t so messy and if staff weren’t so pushy to you in-store.  The three who were more in favour of shopping in-store said they would be persuaded if they could physically see what they’re buying, if delivery was quicker and if they knew clothing products would be the correct size for them.

Participants were then asked their thoughts on the biggest benefit and drawback of shopping in-store.  For the biggest benefit, all participants agreed that it was the fact you could actually see and try the products out/on before you bought them.  For their thoughts on the biggest drawback, three participants agreed that it was the fact they felt shops weren’t open long enough as they don’t have time to go shopping much.  Other drawbacks included the fact the shops were an issue to get to as the bus takes a long time to get into town, shopping takes a lot of time out of your day as you have to walk around the shops and the fact that shops tend to be busy a lot so it takes a lot of time to get around them.

As before, the group were then asked what they felt was the biggest benefit and drawback of shopping online.  Participants all agreed on the biggest benefit to online shopping was that it is available all the time so you can shop to when it suits your schedule.  Their thoughts about the biggest drawback were also fairly similar.  The answers here were that it takes a few days to arrive/return and the fact you can’t actually see/try what you’re buying.

The results from this focus group came as quite a surprise to me.  I thought that all or most of the participants would prefer to shop in-store, so I wasn’t expecting half of participants to prefer to shop online.  The data from both focus groups showed that most participants agreed on the benefits and drawbacks of both in-store and online shopping and I myself would agree with what they had to say.

I personally prefer to shop online as I find it easier and like the variety of products and shops that you can access online, but I do agree that sometimes it’s better to be able to see or try products before you buy them.

1 comment:

  1. Your results are interesting. Thinking about the recommendations you'll make at the end of the investigation, what could shops do to get more people through the doors? (And what could online shops do to get more people clicking?) Do you think the two will always co-exist, or will there be a move towards more of a middle ground, like ordering online and then collecting in-store to try what you've bought on?