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Survey Reveals Consumer Expectations In Modern Retail Shopping Experience

Millennials are most likely to prefer shopping in a store and demand new retail technology

MADISON, N.J. (September 22, 2015) – As mobile wallets and same-day online delivery become a cornerstone in the modern shopping experience, commercial real estate is quickly adapting to meet the warehousing and retail needs expected from consumers. A Coldwell Banker Commercial Affiliates survey, conducted by Harris Poll and released today, explores how retail expectations and habits have recently changed and how Millennials (ages 18-34), Gen Xers (ages 35-49) and Baby Boomers (ages 50-69) prefer to shop online and in stores.

The survey of over 2,000 U.S. adults found that the in-store and online shopping experience is evolving with the emergence of mobile wallet platforms and the availability of same-day delivery. Millennials lead the trend and are most likely to expect these conveniences when shopping, validating the importance of an omni-channel option for retailers. Though convenient e-commerce options are expanding, the data also reflected a continued affinity towards the traditional in-store shopping experience, especially from Millennials.

Retailers are moving closer to consumers, and the supply chain is rapidly evolving to accommodate this,” Fred Schmidt, president and chief operating officer of Coldwell Banker Commercial Affiliates, said. “Shoppers still value the traditional in-person experience but expect efficiency and expediency. These generational trends help paint a clearer picture for commercial real estate of where warehousing and inventory space may be headed, as well as how traditional is evolving.”

U.S. Consumers Expect Convenience When Shopping Online and Experience When Shopping in a Store

Same-day delivery options, as well as delivery convenience options such as Amazon Dash push-to-buy buttons, are transforming online shopping habits and engraining the expectation of retail convenience. Half (50 percent) of U.S. adults are more likely to make a purchase online if there is a same-day delivery option, and 40 percent expect this option to be available when shopping online. Whilst there is almost an expectation for online companies to have this option, it can be hard for the shipping company to make the delivery within a certain timeframe. In this circumstance, they will need to hire a trucking service that covers a wide range of locations, like a company such as CSA Transportation (, can do. This could help to make the idea of a same-day delivery easier to handle. Overall, the option of same day delivery is more likely to drive the purchasing decisions of Millennials and parents with children under 18 living in their household (hereafter referred to as “parents”) than other generations and segments of the population.

  • Millennials are more likely to make a purchase online if there is a same-day delivery option (64 percent) compared to other generations (56 percent for Gen Xers and 40 percent for Baby Boomers).
  • Same-day delivery is significantly more likely to make parents make a purchase online (63 percent) than nonparents (46 percent).
  • 50 percent of parents expect the option of same day delivery when making a purchase online, compared to just 36 percent of nonparents.

This is not to say that the in-store experience is obsolete. Overall, 69 percent of U.S. adults prefer to make their purchases in a store, and it’s the experience that keeps them coming back.

  • 72 percent of Millennials say they prefer shopping in a store, compared to 65 percent of Gen Xers and 68 percent of Boomers.
  • In addition, Millennials are much more likely (73 percent) than other generations to enjoy the experience of being in a store or mall, compared to 58 percent of Gen Xers and just 48 percent of Boomers.

The trend towards same-day delivery is already shifting suppliers’ inventory needs. As same-day delivery pilot programs begin to surface in urban areas, retailers are quickly acquiring warehouse space immediately outside large urban areas to meet the burgeoning demand. As these same-day delivery programs become national, the demand for these warehouses is likely to continue in both urban and suburban areas. With the increasing demand for warehouse spaces, it is possible that suppliers may soon turn to inventory software development programs. Why?

Though warehouses might seem to be the most uncomplicated part of a business, the truth is, warehouses are vital to any business. It takes care of all the key processes of a business like ordering and receiving incoming shipments of materials, managing outgoing orders, maintaining stock, and keeping it all organized. Therefore, those who still use a manual inventory might lose the chance of acquiring more customers by delaying their shipment. Furthermore, in this era of digital advancement, more and more companies have understood the benefits of using an inventory software program that can be more efficient than the kind of inventory control that people have been using since the ‘Egyptians scribbled hieroglyphics on papyruses’. Moreover, many companies have found the costs associated with product loss, incorrect shipments, out-of-stock orders, product returns, and overstocks to be unacceptable. Therefore, the necessity of inventory software development.

Inventory software development programs are interlinked and connected to the cloud. They are helpful in tracking and managing stocks across all the departments of a business that intersects with inventory (like product sales, customer service, warehouse operations, etc). Besides tracking, custom inventory software can incorporate dynamic purchasing engines with integrated analytics programs. Therefore, businesses that are following the trend of same-day delicery might want this kind of technological support. Not only can it make streamline business processes but can also help in reducing the chances of any errors.

U.S. Consumers Are Growing Fond of Mobile Wallet Technologies

While the concept of mobile wallets is still somewhat of a novelty, Millennials and parents of young children are more open to embracing this type of technology.

  • One in three (33 percent) Millennials agree that making purchases with a mobile wallet (e.g., Apple Pay, Google Wallet, Visa PayWave) is important to them, compared to only 21 percent of the total survey population.
  • Similarly, parents are nearly twice as likely to feel that making purchases with a mobile wallet is important, 33 percent of parents compared to just 17 percent of nonparents.

“As mobile payment systems evolve, physical retail space will continue to adapt,” added Schmidt. “Technology provides new opportunities to improve the overall in-store and checkout experience for retailers and consumers alike.”

As Millennials and parents, who may be shopping with their hands full, push demand for the simplicity and speed of mobile payments, brick and mortar retailers can redefine the space and experience of their stores by moving — or even removing — cash registers, shortening check-out lines and satisfying this shift in demand. You could click here to learn more about the statistics behind cellphones being a major factor for e-commerce companies gaining traction in their businesses.

“The advances in retail technology and the conveniences associated with them are driving our commercial real estate needs,” continued Schmidt. “Commercial real estate professionals should pay attention to how these tools and trends develop and continue to think about how they will revolutionize the consumer experience.”

This survey was conducted online within the United States from July 28-30, 2015 among 2,045 adults ages 18 and older, by Harris Poll on behalf of Coldwell Banker Commercial Affiliates via its Quick Query omnibus product. Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region, and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.

All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question-wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, Harris Poll avoids the words “margin of error” as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.

Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Poll surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in the Harris Poll panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

About Coldwell Banker Commercial Affiliates
Coldwell Banker Commercial Affiliates is a division of Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. The Coldwell Banker Commercial brand has been a premier provider of franchised commercial real estate brokerage offices, recognized globally as a company that puts the client first while delivering individual, distinctly different service. Coldwell Banker Commercial affiliates cover territory throughout North America, South America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia. Coldwell Banker Commercial is an industry leader in providing commercial real estate solutions that serve the needs of tenants, landlords, sellers and buyers in the leasing, acquisition, disposition and management of all property types. Each office is independently owned and operated. Coldwell Banker Commercial® is a registered trademark licensed to Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. For more information, visit:

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