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Online and Offline Shoppers Analysed

Why retailers should have an eye for the differences between brick and click buyers

For many retailers, the basis for their online and offline marketing activities is almost the same. This means most of the time that the online channel is an add-on and is seen as an extension of the window screen of their physical retail shop.

Although there might be a huge overlap in the online and offline purchasing strategies of many consumers, understanding the differences between online and offline shoppers can help retailers tailor their strategies to effectively engage and cater to diverse consumer preferences across various shopping channels. A Glocalities study of Dutch consumers shows that there is a significant difference between the personality, norms and values of online and offline consumers.  

Compared to online shoppers in the Netherlands, offline shoppers exhibit a preference for stability and are less inclined towards adopting new technologies. This aversion to change contributes to the relatively diminished allure of online shopping for them, particularly due to the inability to touch or feel the product when shopping online. These consumers also lean towards traditional values, often resonating with patriarchal ideals, and tend to be of an older demographic. They find satisfaction in a slower-paced lifestyle, therefore, too much technological progression in the online shopping industry can be overwhelming.

Contrastingly, online shoppers are more into exploring new things and techno progression. They embrace new and novel experiences and technology. Therefore, online shoppers are more likely to embrace change and find joy in online shopping for its convenience rather than offline shopping.

(standard score differences measured in standard deviations from the Dutch average)

Offline shoppers in The Netherlands vs Neighbouring Countries

The Glocalities study reveals further that these differences between off- and online shopper are not limited to The Netherlands. The Glocalities research program, with measurements in over 62 countries world-wide, shows that offline shoppers in the Netherlands are mostly represented by so called Socializers, sociability seekers who love entertainment, freedom and family values. For them, offline shopping is an inherently social activity that can involve friends and family. But offline shoppers in Germany, France and the UK for example, can be identified as more Conservatives and Achievers. For these individuals offline shopping, is not only more favoured because it's their traditional way to shop (which is important to Conservatives), but because it also serves as an opportunity to show their status through the bags with the brand names they carry. The status aspect is especially appealing to Achievers.

Many retailers operate both online and offline channels, catering to customers who prefer different shopping experiences. To do this effectively, Glocalities data can help understanding the distinct characteristics and preferences of both online and offline shoppers. This understanding is essential for retailers to drive engagement and foster long-term customer relationships in both the digital and the physical marketplace.

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