Digital vs In-store: What is the primary channel of product research among US shoppers?

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Data Highlights

  • More than two in three (67%) Millennials prefer to research products digitally vs in-store.
  • Just over half (56%) of Generation X shoppers say digital is their primary channel of product research.
  • Baby Boomers (41%) and Seniors (28%) are less likely to prefer digital compared to in-store for product research.

Shoppers research products both online and offline. When asked to pick one over the other, choices vary across generations.

18 to 34 year old Millennial shoppers are the most likely to research products online. More than two-thirds (67%) of Millennial shoppers pick digital over in-store. Millennials are most tech savvy generation. A higher usage of mobile apps also contributes to their preference of digital research.


Generation Xers are also more likely to prefer digital channels for shopping research. More than half (56%) of 35 to 49 year olds say digital is their primary channel of research for shopping.

Millennial shoppers researching online tend to explore and discover new products. In comparison, Generation Xers are more likely to be pragmatic with their online research. Gen X shoppers tend to look for discounts, reviews and delivery options.

Affinity to digital product research is low among Baby Boomers and Seniors in the US. More than half of Baby Boomers (59%) prefer researching products in-store. Among Seniors this figure increases to more than seven in ten (72%).