if you look at the shopping trends in the mid1990s, retail shopping was dominant and the thought of shopping online was scary and inefficient. It's hard to believe now, but many consumers were reluctant to buy online, so it was important for retailers to understand the reasons for and barriers to online purchase. The questions were, how do you develop the tactics, messaging and incentives to encourage online purchase.

Today, purchasing online is accepted by many, but if you look across categories of purchase, there are some sectors where there is still reluctance to buy online, so online retailers still need to work on their tactics to encourage online conversion. A new report from KPMG has some of the most detailed research evaluating the consumer psychology of purchase, below we list top ten trends why consumers prefer to shop online compared to why they prefer to shop in-store. We hope it will be useful for anyone are looking to understand consumer behavior and motivations.

These are the main reasons consumers give for online shopping.

You can see that convenience and price comparison are the main drivers. The statistics also illustrate the importance of free shipping offers.  

Here are the top ten main reasons consumers prefer to shop online instead of in the store ranked by importance 


  1. Ability to shop24/7
  2. Ability to compare prices
  3. Potentially better pricing than in stores
  4. Save time
  5. Convenience of not going to store
  6. Greater variety  and selection
  7. Free shipping
  8. Convenience of everything in one place
  9. To locate hard to find items
  10. To avoid crowds
What is interesting is that this online shopping completely eliminates one aspect of the experience a lot of people find appealing, social interaction and the way it brings communities together. Friends shopping together, a family trip to the mall. For that reason, we wonder, if online shopping can completely replace a retail experience.


Here are the top ten reasons why consumers prefer to shop in-store ranked by importance

  1. I want to see/touch an item first
  2. I want to try item on
  3. Concerns for product looking different
  4. Delivery might take too long
  5. Shipping costs too high
  6. Products too valuable to buy online
  7. Enjoying the experience of going to the shops
  8. I have to go to the shops anyway
  9. I want to verify the authenticity
  10. Return process too complicated
Many consumers, though less than in the past, are concerned about trust and potential security issues of online purchasing. But the industry giants are pumping millions to every year to make that concern less of a barrier.
And with the emerging technologies such as interactive product shots, VR and AR providing an online alternative to see, touch and try on products, retailers will need to remain on the cutting edge of thinking, marketing and service to keep consumers coming back to the stores