80% of shoppers prefer to shop in-store

About eight in 10 shoppers prefer buying groceries and pharmaceuticals from physical stores, according to “Decoding Consumer Affinity,” a collaboration between PYMNTS and Toshiba based on a survey of more than 2,000 U.S. consumers.

Get the report: Decoding Consumer Affinity: The 2022 Merchant Customer Loyalty Survey

The survey found that 82% of grocery store shoppers and 76% of drugstore customers purchase products primarily in-store. Only 18% of consumers make their grocery purchases primarily online, while 22% make their pharmacy purchases primarily online.

Among consumers who buy groceries in stores, nearly half—48%—shop at three or more merchants. 36% buy from two merchants and 16% buy from a single merchant.

In contrast, among those who buy pharmaceuticals in stores, more than half—56%—buy from a single merchant. Another 25% shop at two merchants and only 18% shop at three or more merchants.

The trends are less pronounced among those who buy primarily online. Among grocers who buy online, 34% frequent one merchant, 30% frequent two, and 36% visit three or more. Among pharmacy shoppers who buy online, 50% go to one merchant, 24% visit two, and 23% buy from three or more.

Grocery shoppers say price and proximity drive them to shop at a particular merchant, with 37% saying price is the most influential factor and 32% saying proximity is the most important.

Pharmacy shoppers were primarily interested in proximity, with 41% saying it was the most influential factor when selecting a merchant. The second most cited factor — price — is cited by only 16% of those who purchase pharmaceuticals.

Another difference between grocery shoppers and drug store shoppers is whether they are more loyal to the merchant or the product. While 53% of grocery shoppers say they are more loyal to the merchant, 61% of those who buy pharmaceuticals are more loyal to the product.

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