FUN FACTOR: Do consumers think shopping is "fun?"

The news sounds bleak if you listen to the latest on store closings and how the in-store experience is dying, with many citing a disconnect in shopper experience. However, that view would be wrong, according to Market Track's most recent Shopper Insight Survey. In a survey of 1,200 primary household shoppers with equal representation across age and gender, it is clear that people still enjoy shopping, both in-store and online, although there is variability by age groups. This speaks to areas of opportunity in both instances and the necessity to focus on the overall shopper journey.

Driving traffic on a normal week: The top figure on the right shows the disparity in age groups when it comes to shopping. Nearly 80% of shoppers in the 18-20 group find shopping to be "fun," while there is a steady decrease as you get into the older demographics. For those who say shopping is not fun, the primary reason is they would rather shop online and would prefer to avoid crowds. Most who said they did not find shopping fun said they have never enjoyed shopping, while some are turned off by retail being less focused on the customer experience.

The thrill of the hunt: In terms of the type of shopping people like to do, Holiday tops the list with 41% indicating they enjoy looking for the perfect gift for people on their list. Shopping for apparel was another area people indicated they enjoyed the act of either going in-store or online to find the latest styles.

Online or in-store? Both: Interestingly, the "digital native" audience of 18-20 year olds prefer going in-store, while people in their 20s and 30s would rather shop online. There is a lot of opportunity for cross-channel experiences with the majority of respondents saying they like both equally. Eighty-three percent say that information online influences their in-store purchases. We are in the age of the channel-less shopper and both are critical parts of the shopper journey. Optimizing interactions in each situation is key to building loyalty and brand affinity.