The NAA (Newspaper Association of America) recently published interesting research about shopper behavior and impulse shopping (see results in the box below).

 According to the survey,  Brick and Mortar stores remain the shopper’s choice. Despite the digital revolution and its impact, 78% of all purchases of general merchandise are made in stores. Not that the internet has not impacted the way consumers shop, but the purchase is made in a store. These days, consumers are much more considered with their buying. They buy less on impulse and impulse buying is mostly taking place in brick and mortar stores. A recent Yahoo study agreed with the data from this research that impulse is tough online.

For advertising the implications are that the merchandise marketed in weekly advertising circulars is usually carefully selected to drive store traffic and usually loaded with lost leader incentives hoping to get impulse sales once in store. That means that digitizing those circulars online may require remerchandising or differentiating in store specials from online ones.

Online Shopping vs. Brick and Mortar Shopping Behavior


  • 78% of Adults buy in a Store
  • The average in-store shopper visits 1.5 stores
  • The average online shopper visits 2.6 sites
  • Impulse Shopping: More likely in store than online
  • Impulse Shopping -Toys:  45%  In-store 18% Online
  • Impulse Shopping – Women’s Wear: 47% In-store 29% Online
  • Impulse Shopping – Men’s Wear: 40% In-store 26% Online
  • Impulse Shopping -TV/Entertainment: 38% In-store 22% Online

Source: How America Shops and Spends Study – 2011, Newspaper Association of America


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