Shoppers Are Still Choosing Malls This Holiday Season — Here’s Why

Long gone are the days of the mall crawl, but that doesn’t mean consumers have given up on brick-and-mortar shopping — especially during the season of giving.

Despite the lengthy lines and crowds associated with the holidays, shoppers are still choosing malls for convenience and immediacy, according to a new report from mobile commerce platform GPShopper.

“They are desperate to avoid the craze and are seeking in-store shopping environments that deliver efficiency, above all else,” said Maya Mikhailov, the firm’s co-founder and chief marketing officer. “The sharpest retailers will take note, listen to these consumer needs and respond swiftly with a variety of services that deliver a more rewarding shopping experience.”

The report, which analyzed the factors influencing consumers’ holiday shopping preferences, showed that more than half of shoppers, or 61 percent, valued the ability to leave with their gifts the same day they’re purchased.

And even though a majority, or 53 percent, cited lines and crowds as one of the most stressful factors of holiday shopping, about a third of shoppers (35 percent) said they enjoyed the holiday atmosphere and activities often experienced in physical stores during the holidays.

The findings reinforce the importance of experiential retail, with more consumers saying they are encouraged to shop at a store that offers specialty services and perks. While it’s unsurprising that 68 percent are won over by exclusive in-store sales, half of all surveyed admitted that free food and drinks can entice them to shop brick-and-mortar.

The report’s other key findings included that 62 percent of shoppers refused to wait in an hour-long line to buy gifts, with a majority (67 percent) of those interested in using tech in-store saying they would be willing to use buy online, pick-up in store services to ease their holiday shopping experience.

(GPShopper commissioned research firm YouGov PLC to poll about 1,350 respondents aged 18 years and up.)

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