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Consumers Still Spending More In-Store

Jul 28, 2019 9:20 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT... Consumers prefer to shop in-store, and spend more on jewelry when buying in brick-and-mortar than when purchasing online, a study by Citibank’s Citi Retail Services found.

“As jewelry is such a personal item, buying in-store largely provides consumers with the confidence that comes after physically viewing and handling a product,” Leslie McNamara, chief marketing officer and head of workforce development at Citi Retail Services, said last week. “Also, consumers indicated the value they derive from interacting with employees while shopping.”

Citi surveyed 1,000 US adults over the age of 18 for the study, which it carried out in May. Some 40% of people who had purchased jewelry bought a piece costing at least $1,000 in a retail store. The average maximum spend in a brick-and-mortar store was $2,269, the survey found. That amount is more than double the average for the most expensive jewelry item purchased online, at $1,099.

In addition, nearly half of those surveyed preferred to shop in a store, citing the physical experience of inspecting and trying on their jewelry prior to purchasing. More than two-thirds of those who have bought jewelry have purchased most, if not all, of their pieces in a store, compared to 12% who have done so online, according to the data.

Other factors also influenced consumers’ decision to shop in-store, the study noted, with 27% of those surveyed stating that jewelry bought online looked different than they had expected. Some 19% felt that their online-jewelry purchase was not the correct size, while 14% suffered from their orders not arriving on time for events such as birthdays or holidays.

While many shoppers still buy jewelry as gifts, some 50% of all jewelry purchasers, and 57% of millennials, had bought most, or all, of their jewelry collections for themselves.

Buyers are also interested in jewelry services, the study found. When it comes to financing options, 28% of those surveyed approved of the idea, with 43% of those likely to use it for an anniversary gift, 34% for a wedding, 15% for a graduation and 12% for a new baby. Some 49% of respondents were interested in complimentary cleaning services, while 16% wanted styling assistance when purchasing an item of jewelry. A smaller portion of consumers felt that leasing and rental programs, such as short-term borrowing, would be a good service, with 6% choosing that option.

Image: A woman shopping for jewelry in a store. (Shutterstock)
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Tags: Citi Bank, Citi Retail Services, Leslie McNamara, Rapaport News, study, survey
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