Over 90 Percent of Consumers Make Everyday Purchases Within 20 Minutes of Home, New Survey Finds

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A new national consumer survey by Access Development shows the continuing importance of local shopping. The results, as well as business takeaways, will be detailed in a webinar on November 16.

The Impact of Retail Proximity on Consumer Purchases details the results of a national consumer survey by Access Development.
What this survey shows is that, for most purchases, the local, in-store experience is still very important to consumers.

Proximity is an important influence in consumer decisions on everyday purchases, according to the results of a national survey by engagement and rewards company Access Development.

In the survey, 93.2 percent of respondents said they typically travel less than 20 minutes to buy groceries, clothing, gas, and other routine transactions, while 87 percent said they won’t travel beyond 15 minutes for such purchases. For purchases that consumers make at least once per week, the distance they’re willing to travel shrinks even further to ten minutes.

“The Impact of Retail Proximity on Consumer Purchases” survey was compiled from over 2,000 responses from a national pool of consumers. The survey findings and implications will be detailed in a webinar on November 16, 2016 at 11am EST. Click here to register for the webinar.

The survey findings confirm, and even go beyond, the oft-cited statistic that over 80 percent of discretionary spending occurs within 20 miles of home. While that adage makes sense - 92 percent of discretionary spending still occurs in-store, according to the Census Bureau - Access’ findings show that even 20 miles may be too far to travel for most people.

The survey shows that the more frequent the purchase, the less distance consumers are willing to travel for it. Respondents said they typically travel 6.01 minutes from home for gas, 8.03 for groceries, and 8.5 for fast food. Conversely, they’ll travel 19.87 minutes away for clothing and shoes, 17.04 for movies, and 14.17 for auto service.

“The conventional wisdom is that most spending occurs close to home, but there haven’t been many studies completed around just how far people are willing to travel to meet everyday needs,” says Andrew Graft, Access Development’s vice president of corporate marketing. “What this survey shows is that, for most purchases, the local, in-store experience is still very important to consumers. These local merchants have a narrow but profitable sphere they can focus their efforts on, while online and national brands have a major engagement opportunity in helping consumers save on these frequent transactions.”

Among other key findings from the survey are:
92 percent of urban residents travel less than 15 minutes for routine purchases.
Conversely, 70.3 percent of rural residents travel more than 20 minutes for their regular purchases.
When asked to exclude proximity as a factor, the top influences on consumer purchasing decisions were product quality and price, each cited by 32 percent of respondents.
Just 6 percent named brand reputation as a primary influence, while 7 percent said they were influenced by customer service.

The study confirms the continuing importance of local, neighborhood retailers. As financial stress becomes an ongoing issues for the typical consumer, engagement tactics such as discount programs and in-store mobile coupons will become more influential with the American population.

Upon completion of the webinar, a detailed report on the survey results will be available at http://ww2.accessdevelopment.com/consumer_proximity_study. For more information on Access Development, please visit http://AccessDevelopment.com.

About Access Development
For over 30 years, Access Development has helped organizations connect with their customers and build revenue, engagement and loyalty through custom incentives, employee benefits, and discount programs. The company’s private discount network of over 350,000 merchant locations is America’s largest, providing discounts of up to 50% on everyday items to millions of end users. Access also offers the nation’s largest mobile commerce platform, featuring over 200,000 merchants offering exclusive “show your phone” mobile coupons. For more information on Access, please visit http://www.accessdevelopment.com or follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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Brandon Carter
since: 11/2009
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