It makes sense. You're a human being, so you would naturally trust somebody you've dealt with face-to-face than somebody you've dealt with exclusively over the Internet, wouldn't you?
If that's how you feel when spending your money, you're not alone: A new study commissioned by Retail Gazette in the U.K. found that 70% of respondents prefer to buy from retailers with an online AND a physical store presence than from online-only retailers.
“This may be that a physical presence provides more solidity and a confidence to consumers as they can see the actual store," says Ralph Risk, European Marketing Director for Lightspeed Research (who conducted the study). "It also provides evidence that they are not just a small operation, and can rely on them to deliver or somewhere to complain to.
“Of particular interest is the perception that multichannel retailers are more reliable than just online, which could also affect the perception of trust.”
Risk speaks primarily about the trust and reputation that a multichannel retailer must establish when dealing both in-person and online, but it's also a matter of convenience.
It's just easier to pick up, return, or exchange something at your local store -- regardless of whether you bought it online or in-store -- than it is to ship it somewhere and hope for the best.
Other highlights from the survey include:
- 81% of respondents say they trust retailers with online and physical store presence.
- But only 50% described these companies as "cutting edge."
- 67% say they trust retailers that are online-only.
- 71% described these companies as "cutting edge."
- Brand recognition is huge: Being longstanding and well-known is a factor to 68% of shoppers; 30 percent said it was the main factor.