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What Do Shoppers Think When They Think Retail?

Currently, America’s small businesses face an onslaught of proposals from Washington that could affect how they do business with millions of consumers. But do Americans really want or need  government intervention in how they shop or sell? What do Americans think about the retail industry and how they shop everyday? 

To answer these questions, NetChoice partnered with Savanta to conduct survey research to better understand what matters most in retail— the consumer. Below are key findings from the survey and our analysis of how American shoppers from across the country believe they benefit from the current and ever-adapting retail environment.

American shoppers see retail as encompassing a broad range of methods and experiences. A large plurality of shoppers see retail as more than just in-store or online.

  • 44% of consumers characterize retail as a blend of both online and in-store shopping. 
  • When asked how they prefer to shop, nearly 50% stated that they prefer to shop both online and in-store. 
  • An overwhelming 67% of consumers said that they prefer to shop at businesses that offer both online and in-person shopping options. 

Shoppers also see retail as providing them with significant choice and convenience. Americans are not desperate shoppers starved for choice who can’t take their business elsewhere. Instead, American shoppers are empowered by a retail market that continues to thrive under robust competition.

  • When buying everyday items, 88% of consumers believe they have “many options” to choose from. Only 8% said they didn’t have enough options when shopping.
  • 89% of shoppers consider retailers other than their usual store when shopping, showing that consumers are not locked in to one retailer.
  • 44% of consumers believe that the future of retail is brighter, compared to only 18% who are more pessimistic. 
    • Of those optimists, 75% believe that the primary reason retail will continue to improve is because of the robust competition that is present in the market.

Our data also proves that more red tape and government regulation clearly isn’t what shoppers want:

  • 75% said that the future of retail is bright because of the healthy competition that currently exists. Only 16% believe improvements to retail would be driven by government intervention. 
  • 80% of consumers believe lawmakers should treat retailers equally when proposing legislation.