80% of Shoppers Prefer to Buy Groceries, Pharmaceutical Products in Physical Stores

About eight out of 10 shoppers prefer to purchase grocery products and pharmaceutical products in physical stores, according to “Decoding Consumer Affinity,” a PYMNTS and Toshiba collaboration based on a survey of more than 2,000 U.S. consumers. 

Get the report: Decoding Consumer Affinity: The Customer Loyalty To Merchants Survey 2022 

The survey found that 82% of grocery shoppers and 76% of pharmacy customers purchase products primarily in-store. Just 18% of consumers make grocery purchases mainly online, while 22% make pharmacy purchases predominantly online. 

Among the consumers who buy groceries in stores, nearly half — 48% — shop at three or more merchants. Another 36% shop at two merchants and 16% shop at only one merchant. 

In contrast, among those who buy pharmaceutical products in stores, more than half — 56% — shop at only one merchant. Another 25% shop at two merchants and only 18% shop at three or more merchants. 

The patterns are less pronounced among those who shop primarily online. Among the grocery shoppers who buy online, 34% frequent one merchant, 30% go to two and 36% visit three or more. Among the pharmacy shoppers who buy online, 50% go to one merchant, 24% visit two and 23% purchase from three or more. 

Grocery shoppers say price and proximity drive them to shop with a particular merchant, with 37% saying the price is the most influential factor and 32% saying proximity is most important. 

Pharmacy shoppers were primarily interested in proximity, with 41% saying that’s the most influential factor when selecting a merchant. The second most cited factor — price — is named by only 16% of those who buy pharmaceutical products. 

Another difference between grocery shoppers and pharmacy shoppers is whether they’re most loyal to the merchant or the product. While 53% of the buyers of grocery products say they are more loyal to the merchant, 61% of those shopping for pharmaceutical products are more loyal to the product.