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American consumers have a wide range of choices when it comes to in-store retail purchases, but there are specific criteria that make some of these stores a better shopping experience for consumers. Thanks to a few unique touches and options, Target, Walmart and Costco take the top spots for the best in-store shopping experiences, according to a new GOBankingRates survey.
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When given the choice of several popular retailers – including Costco, Dollar General, Dollar Tree, Five Below, IKEA, Target and Walmart – the survey finds that US consumers strongly prefer Target for in-store purchases, 36% selecting it as having the best experience. In terms of age groups, Target was most favored by the 25-34 age group, with 47% choosing it as their first choice, followed by the 18-24 age group, with 41% .
After Target, the survey reveals that US consumers value Walmart second for in-store purchases, at 27%.
But what sets these big-box retailers apart?
What makes Target and Walmart stand out the most?
Shannon Vissers, Retail Analyst at MerchantMaverick.comtold GOBankingRates that Walmart and Target have a lot to offer when it comes to their in-store shopping experience because the name of the game with these two retailers is convenience.
“Both stores have an in-store cafe, affordable prices and self-checkout options,” she said. “The shelves are well stocked, the store layout is easy to navigate and there is usually ample parking. I think even though its prices are slightly higher, Target beats Walmart because the experience is a bit calmer and more aesthetic – think: better lighting, better merchandising of items, trendier design and wider aisles .
On the other hand, Walmart often locks up many of its high-flying items, including some toiletries and other products, which adds a level of inconvenience and disgust to the shopping experience. , Vissers added, while Target benefits from having Starbucks coffees in-store — and in some cases, the carts even have cup holders, making it easier to shop and enjoy.
Phillipe Leblanc, co-CEO and co-founder of Fundayechoed that sentiment, saying the retail landscape used to be marked by the need for unique competitors, but Walmart and Target are shaking up that pattern and putting customer needs first.
“From wider aisles to clear signage and an abundance of options, they’re taking action that resonates with customers — in-store and online,” he said. He also noted that when looking at factors such as their return policies and refund options, “they aim to put the consumer back in control, which is a crucial part of long-term success.”
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Why Costco’s third place is so far behind
After Target and Walmart for the top three in-store shopping experiences, Costco is significantly further behind at 13%.
Merchant Maverick’s Vissers calls it “another animal”: While the wholesale pricing, free samples, and wide range of products sold draw huge crowds, there are some reasons why Costco lags behind the other two.
“The layout is far from intuitive, and it’s not a store where you can quickly find and buy what you need. The experience can be overwhelming and intimidating, and not suitable for a short, convenient trip. Nevertheless, many people like to do a half-day shopping trip at Costco,” she said.
She also said that Costco aisles aren’t labeled and the items in them don’t always follow a particular rhyme or reason, but that lack of organization can lead to the “thrill of discovery” shoppers falling on new articles. t have otherwise in a traditional retail store.
Others on the list: stores where you can’t do one-stop shopping
The GOBankingRates survey reveals that at the bottom of the list in terms of best in-store shopping experience are IKEA, with 9%; Dollar Tree, with 9%; Dollar General, with 4%; and Five Below, with 3%.
Ted Rossman, Senior Industry Analyst at CreditCards.comtold GOBankingRates that the importance of the one-stop shop seems to have increased during the pandemic.
“I guess it’s not an entirely new trend, but especially at the beginning of the pandemic, when many people were really afraid to leave their homes, the possibility of going to a store and, hopefully, d ‘Getting everything you need is a powerful motivator,’ he said. “If you feel like you’re risking your health by venturing out, you want to at least feel like it’s worth it and minimize the need to drive all over town and browse the aisles of a bunch of shops. different. “
Additionally, he said today’s high gas prices have likely taken over from COVID-19 as the primary motivator to minimize “citywide schlepping.”
“Target and Walmart have also embraced the hybrid lifestyle, offering in-store, online and a mix via curbside pickup. A lot of people seem to like the ability to order from home, work, etc. and to move to get the goods immediately without waiting a few days for shipment,” he said.
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