ICSC Report: Customers Who Shop In Stores Then Spend More Online

Retailers are finding that consumers who buy in their stores are also spending way more online, according to a new survey.

Expanding on its 2018 study, the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) found that a “halo effect” often occurs when a purchase is made online within 15 days of shopping with the same retailer in-store or, conversely, when a follow-up purchase is made in-store after an initial online buy. The average consumer was found to make 1.3 additional online transactions with the same brand within 15 days of shopping at the retail store.

“Our first Halo report demonstrated the positive correlation between having both a physical and digital presence as it relates to web traffic and brand awareness,” said Tom McGee, president and CEO of ICSC. “This follow-up report puts a dollar amount on that relationship.”

For every $100 a consumer spends online, for example, it was found that the halo effect resulted in an additional $131 spent in-store. In the reverse scenario, the average consumer spent $167 online after spending $100 in-store. That suggests that the relationship between physical and digital retail is symbiotic; offering both channels is what is most important.

This was also true for digitally native brands included in the survey, which looked at more than 41 million credit and debit card records.

M.Gemi store New York Soho
M.Gemi’s store in New York’s SoHo neighborhood offers “fit shop” service for custom fittings, which provides added value to the customer experience.
CREDIT: Courtesy of M.Gemi

Shoe brand M.Gemi, which has two stores in New York City, found that its omnichannel customers spent 60% more than their single-channel counterparts. CEO and co-founder Ben Fischman attributed this partly to the ability of in-store staff to provide added value in the form of custom fittings, while also capturing customer preferences. The company uses PredictSpring to help track and apply this data.

“Spending time with a sales associate and having that person learn about you, to be able to create a personalized experience, is a huge opportunity,” said Fischman.

Using each channel to improve the value of the other was emphasized throughout the report. Online platforms can direct customers to try out and pick up their items in-store, while in-person interactions can inform digital messaging and recommendations.

Many forecasts suggest that online sales will soon outperform brick-and-mortar stores, but ICSC found that physical retail accounted for 91% of the total spending in the study.

Watch the video below to see how digitally native Allbirds is succeeding:

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