Which retailers do shoppers like most?
Is Amazon one of your favorite retailers? If so, you’re hardly alone, according to new survey.
A study published Monday by consulting firm PwC found that 52% of respondents picked Amazon (AMZN) as one of their three top retail choices for 2014. The other two that cropped up most commonly? Wal-Mart (WMT), with 41%, and Target, with 29%.
The findings are good news for Amazon, an e-commerce behemoth that has eaten into the businesses of many of its established bricks and mortar rivals. Amazon’s generally low prices, large selection and free shipping for Prime members serve as a big lure for shoppers.
PwC’s survey is based on responses from nearly 1,000 shoppers in October of last year. People were asked to first consider which stores have the best price followed by which ones had the items they wanted. Respondents listed their top three retailers. PWc did not ask for a single favorite or about retailers they liked the least.
The survey showed that physical stores remain the primary stop for shopping, despite a lot of online browsing. But it also highlighted the prevalence of showrooming, the practice of checking out products in person at a bricks and mortar store but then buying that item online. Sixty-eight percent of respondents said they did so. At the same time, 73% said they ended up making purchases at a physical store rather than online.
Respondents explained the primary reason they still visited stores was that they liked being able to see products in person and buy them immediately without having to pay for shipping. Shoppers’ preference for bricks-and-mortar stores somewhat surprised the survey’s author, who was expected to find a stronger affinity for online retailers.
“For the past several years, the story around retail stores was ‘showrooming,’ in which stores were places to display items for online purchase,” Steven Barr, PwC U.S. retail & consumer practice leader, said in a statement. “However, this year’s survey results reveal that the online shop has also become a showroom where shoppers research and compare prices for later, in-store purchases.”
Only 27% of the respondents said they shop online weekly.