Some years back, before the explosion of eCommerce, shoppers solely relied upon the expertise of a sales person in a physical store to assist them to pinpoint what they needed. Judging from their own experience and the descriptions of the customers, the salesperson could locate the product easily and suggest alternative products in the same vein, which the customer hardly knew. The internet age came with the proliferation of eCommerce stores. And with busy consumers who are overwhelmed with information and alternatives, choosing a product that matches their needs becomes an uphill task. The advent of mobile shopping has shaken things up, and customers can shop and interact online with their mobile devices while shopping in-store. This means that digital and physical commerce are merging at supersonic speeds. The following statistics point to the incredible pace of at which physical and digital shopping space converge to create a truly wonderful experience for the shopper:

Two research studies of in-store and online shopping behavior

A 2004 report published by ‘’Navigating the New Digital Divide’’ shows that 6.5% ($305 billion) of retail sales happened online. The other portion of retail sales (93%) or $4 trillion occurred in the conventional physical stores.

Another study published by ‘’The Reality of Retail Report’’ indicates that about 53% of consumers research products while in-store. On top of that, customers who utilize their portable devices while shopping in-store convert at a higher rate (20% more) when compared to those who shop without mobile devices.

Insight into in-store engagement

The million dollar question is: What exactly are individuals doing while shopping in-store? The outcome of this study by The Reality of Retail Report shows that:

  • 61 percent are doing price comparisons
  • 46 percent are scavenging for product information online
  • 43 percent use social media to get more insights about products
  • 49 percent actually take photos of the products and share them online
  • 52 percent abide by the shopping list
  • 40 percent utilize the store’s loyalty programs
  • 33 percent actually purchase products from the store
  • 19 percent take part and engage in surveys
  • 37 percent take quality time to read product reviews and testimonials
  • 21 percent locate products in-store

On top of the above surveys, 42 percent of shoppers who hit the store search out for valuable information about the product online while in-store. Most of these customers (64%) utilize search engines to search out information about these products. Nevertheless, about half of these shoppers search this vital information about the products from the retailer’s own app or site. The report further says that only 30 percent will search out information about products from a competitor’s app or site.


From the two studies above, we can see the effect of personalization on creating a positive customer in-store engagement. The studies also reveal that customers still engage online while shopping in-store and the engagements help a lot in finding products they need.