Business

Pretty Much Everyone Buys Online, But Most Still Prefer Actual Stores

By Jennifer Van Grove
The San Diego Union-Tribune

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) According to the latest findings from the Pew Research Center, a majority of Americans still prefer making purchases at actual stores as opposed to buying online.

The San Diego Union-Tribune

Online shopping may be the new norm, especially when it comes to scouring for good deals, but a new report finds that, despite a sea change in consumer behavior, American shoppers still fancy the old-fashioned, brick-and-mortar experience.

Roughly eight in 10 people, or 79 percent, have purchased something online, according to the latest findings from the Pew Research Center, which conducts public opinion polling and surveyed a nationally representative panel of U.S. adults in December 2015. The figure represents a drastic, four-fold increase from 16 years ago, when the firm first asked about online shopping in a June 2000 survey and found that just 22 percent of Americans had engaged in the behavior.

Yet, even with the proliferation of e-commerce, a majority of Americans, or 64 percent, prefer making purchases at actual stores as opposed to buying online when all things are equal, Pew found.

The fondness for physical stores, however, is most always overruled by more practical matters.

“Even as many online shoppers express preferences for physical stores in the abstract, their ultimate decision of where to buy something often comes down to price,” said report authors Aaron Smith and Monica Anderson.

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