Building Trust to Know Your Consumer's Preferences Is Key for Return Customers


A recent study surveyed consumers in the US and the UK about their shopping preferences. They were asked questions like, do you prefer shopping online or going to a physical store? They took it even further and asked the consumers if they felt that the retailers, both online and brick and mortar shops knew what types of products they are interested in.

This is where it gets tough. The consumer wants you to give them product suggestions that are relevant to their interests, but most consumers don't want their data used.

In this article, we will give you the stats on what the consumer wants out of their shopping experience.

consumer preferences

Consumer preference is a general term applied to all facets of marketing products and services. This is not to be confused with the more-specific term brand preference, which relates to consumers preferring one brand over competing brands. If one brand is unavailable, consumers will likely choose another brand to fill the gap. A revealed preference is also a subset of consumer preferences in that companies determine consumption behavior based upon sales numbers. The theory is that companies can change strategies if consumers buy one product over another. The revealed preference theory was first promulgated in 1938.

Website or Brick and Mortar?

When asked which method they like best 83% of American and 77% of UK consumers would rather shop at a physical store versus a website. Millennials (ages 18 – 29) also prefer shopping in brick and mortar stores, but use their digital technology to find what they need and pay for it faster. This represents a major challenge for retails known as showrooming.

Consistent Pricing

Customers expect the price of a product to be the same in the actual store as it is online. It angers people who research a product online and then decide to get it at the store because they want it that day, only to find out it costs more. Out of the Americans surveyed 55% of them say they expect the prices to be consistent between the store and online. The UK consumer stats are the same. Only about 25% American and 23% UK consumers said they would expect the online price to be cheaper. About 20% of both sets of consumers said they don't check to see if there is a price difference.

Do You Know What They Want?

About 42% of consumers feel that online stores know their product preferences while only 11% of consumers feel that the physical stores do. Approximately 66% percent of consumers feel that the shopping websites don't have a clue when it comes to the products they are interested in and 30% feel the same way about the brick and mortar shops. On that note, only about 25% of consumers say business should link online and brick and mortar browsing/purchasing data to improve the shopper's experience. Also, just over 60% of consumers don't want their data to be used.

In conclusion, despite the convenience of online shopping people still, prefer to physically go to the store. They want consistent prices between both avenues and they to want the retailer to be more in tune with their interests. But they are very afraid of their information being stolen or used in the wrong way. There is most likely a trust issue here. Retailers will have to find a way to gain the trust of their customers, most likely through better security technology in order for everyone to get what they want.

Lindsey Perron

 Lindsey Perron

Queen of the Machine for Viral Solutions LLC
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“If a brand genuinely wants to make a social contribution, it should start with who they are, not what they do. For only when a brand has defined itself and its core values can it identify causes or social responsibility initiatives that are in alignment with its authentic brand story.” ~ Simon Mainwaring
customer value optimization specialist


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Filed Under: Business Tips

About Lindsey Perron

As Thomas’ daughter, Lindsey was introduced to the world of sales and marketing at an early age. Curious about what her dad did, Lindsey would jump at every opportunity to help and ride along on sales calls. Always quick to take charge and lead the group—a trait that has only grown with time—Lindsey was frequently told by her parents that she was destined to be a manager or CEO of some sort. While working toward earning her bachelor’s degree in human services from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, Lindsey interned with the UW Office of Equality and Affirmative Action and served on several councils, which gave her the opportunity to develop her persuasive writing skills, researching skills, problem-solving skills, project management skills, and more. After working as the lead teacher of the 4-year-old room at the local daycare center, Lindsey decided to switch gears and join the Viral Solutions team. In her position, Lindsey is able to help clients think through an end goal and reverse engineer it into the steps needed to achieve it.

When she’s not working, Lindsey loves spending time with family, be it traveling somewhere together or just hanging out at home.