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Brick-and-Mortar Retail is on the Rebound

EY consumer survey finds more shoppers seeking human interaction, hands-on experiences




The ability to touch and try on merchandise is a big part of in-store shopping’s appeal. Photo: PeopleImages/

There’s still value in going to the store. That’s one of the major conclusions contained in 14th edition of the EY Future Consumer Index (FCI), a global study surveying 23,000 consumers across 30 countries, including 1500 in the U.S.

“Contrary to pandemic behavior, where the shift to online was immediate and widespread, today we’re seeing a notable pivot away from online-first shopping behavior,” the report states.

More specifically, when asked about the main drivers to in-store shopping, 59% of consumers said they make the trip in-store for the purpose of seeing, touching and trying items before making a purchase, while 57% noted a desire to skip shipping.

“What’s more, consumers have begun to increasingly value human interaction during their post-purchase journey,” the study notes. “More than half (56%) of US consumers noted interacting with humans to be extremely important during product returns and refunds, and an additional 55% found it extremely important when looking to discuss questions or concerns about a product they already bought.”

Other notable findings from the survey include:

  • 77% of U.S. consumers think their lives are the same or better now than 3-4 months ago.
  • 49% of American consumers will download a brand’s app to receive loyalty promotions or exclusive deals.
  • 56% of US consumers found it extremely important to interact with humans during product returns and refunds.

Click here for more from the EY study.



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