By Sanjay Parthasarathy of Indix

Online shopping has reached an all-time high and with Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday swiftly approaching, it’s more important than ever for retailers to understand how consumers shop.

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At Indix, we collect, analyze and provide access to information about products sold at more than 1,600 online stores. But this year, we thought it would be helpful to gain more insights into how consumers like to shop. We surveyed 1,000 consumers across the United States about their preferences and we found that consumers are shopping everywhere, anywhere and all the time. Here’s a closer look at our findings:


Men Are From Mars

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that men and women have different shopping habits. Price, convenience and availability are major factors for both men and women when deciding what to buy and whether or not they’ll make a purchase online. However, those factors mean more to women whereas customer service often is more important for men.

When it comes to shopping online versus in store, 46 percent of women prefer to shop in store, compared to just 36 percent of men. Additionally, 31 percent of men prefer to shop online, compared to just 24 percent of women. Some of this division could boil down to the fact that women worry about mobile payment security more than men, and women are less likely to shop online if shipping and handling is expensive. By contrast, the inability to compare multiple products at once is the thing most likely to deter men from shopping online.


Act Your Age

There’s also a huge difference across generations in how people prefer to shop. Older generations are generally more skeptical about online shopping. Respondents over the age of 45 are less willing to share personal information online than any other age group, even if it results in an improved shopping experience. Although younger shoppers are more comfortable shopping online, people ages 18-34 still purchase goods in store at least once a week.

A big surprise from the survey was that millennials (age 20-34) are the most loyal of any generation. Millennials are more likely to shop at a preferred store, while many over the age of 35 claimed they don’t even have a preferred store. But even though they’re loyal, millennials don’t want to chat with your sales associates. They are twice as likely to avoid salespeople because they don’t want to feel pressured to buy.


Two Sides Of The Same Coin

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Even income tells a lot about whether or not shoppers prefer to shop online or in store. Our study found that both those who earn less than $25,000 or more than $200,000 annually shop online more than anyone else. Individuals on the high and low end of the income spectrum shop online two or three times a week, while everyone else shops online much less often.

While there are many different ways consumers prefer to shop, depending on generational, gender and income differences, there’s still hope for retailers looking to create the perfect shopping experience. Today’s consumers share more personal information than ever before. Thus, they expect a personalized shopping experience. Luckily, with today’s technology, it’s getting easier for retailers and brands to deliver just that, making holiday shopping a better experience for everyone.


Sanjay Parthasarathy, CEO and founder of Indix is an engineer and business leader with a proven track record of bringing big ideas to life. Before he founded Indix, a product information marketplace, Sanjay was a Microsoft executive who grew its developer tools business from $500 million to $1+ billion, launched .NET, and led Bill Gates’ first trip to India in 1997 which led to significant investments from Microsoft in the country.

The views, opinions and positions expressed within this guest post are those of the authors alone and do not represent those of CBS Small Business Pulse or the CBS Corporation. The accuracy, completeness and validity of any statements made within this article are verified solely by the authors.



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