For Basic Purchases, the Store Still Rules

Consumers still like going to brick-and-mortar retailers

Author: Rimma Kats

May 7, 2018

Despite being able to buy recurring products like paper towels or razor blades with a click of mouse—or by asking Alexa—consumers still prefer to shop at physical stores for those purchases.

In fact, in a February 2018 survey conducted by Tune, nearly 50% of US and UK internet users said they prefer brick-and-mortar stores for their basic, simple or repetitive purchases, which range from dish detergent to milk.

By comparison, 28% of respondents said they prefer to buy those items with a mobile device, and just 17.5% favor their desktop.

And when it came to smart speakers, just 3% of US and UK internet users said they prefer to buy the basics via either Amazon’s Echo, Google Home or Apple HomePod.

While voice commerce is growing, it’s not yet widespread.

Overall, 61.1 million individuals of any age in the US will use a smart speaker at least once per month. That’s up nearly 40% over 2017, and higher than the 45.4 million users eMarketer predicted in April 2017.

The most popular activity among voice-enabled speaker users is listening to audio, such as music, podcasts and digital radio. But smaller groups of users are using their devices for shopping, including browsing, price comparing and adding to carts.