The latest research from Google provides insight into the long-term changes in shopping behaviour.

The following 5 key findings provide retailers with analysis to help them navigate the changing needs of consumers - whether online or on the high street.

1) Online-based experiences are here to stay.

Online-based experiences provide consumers the ability to discover products whether they are actively shopping or not and are therefore increasingly important. 

The seismic shift to online is here to stay. 

In the fashion, beauty, and telecommunications categories, a much higher percentage of consumers say they will shop or expect to shop online rather than in-store in the next six months.

2) Shopping attitudes have shifted across demographics.

The biggest increase in those switching to online retail over in-store is for consumers aged 35 and above.

3) The pandemic is not the only reason people are choosing to shop online.

In terms of a driver to switching consumers online, the pandemic has been a major force but by no means the only factor.

Take for instance the beauty sector. COVID-19 is only the fifth most important reason 18- to 34-year olds are choosing to shop more online. 

Many consumers have come to value the convenience and ease of decision-making that online shopping offers and this will continue even after the pandemic.

4) As inspiration moves online, new brand loyalties have formed.

1 in 4 clothing shoppers have bought from a new brand or retailer in the last 12 months with many consumers saying they will continue to buy from these same new retailers over the next six months.

5) The strategic role of the store has evolved.

So how do physical stores continue to play a role? 

By identifying what ‘in-store’ can do best, retail can keep pace with the evolving nature of the needs of their customers and thrive in an ever-changing landscape.

For instance, fulfilment and especially aftercare are perfectly suited to the physical store bringing about a newly imagined role of how the different customer touch points work. 


It may seem an obvious thing to say but retail provides marketers with real insight into how the future road map of evolving customer interaction will impact other aspects of digital marketing.

So, an interesting read for us marketers.