Topics:  business, online, research, retail, shoes, shopping, suncorp bank

Shoppers prefer a store visit to see if the shoe fits

M'Lady's Shoe Boutique owners Jan Simpson with Sue Walker find that in the shoe business, people often prefer to try before they buy.
M'Lady's Shoe Boutique owners Jan Simpson with Sue Walker find that in the shoe business, people often prefer to try before they buy. Tony Martin

REGIONAL shoppers would rather visit their favourite shops than buy online, according to the latest Suncorp Bank research.

The research found 71% of Queenslanders were intending to shop in their town rather than online.

Being able to try, touch and see products are some of the advantages of shopping in-store.

M'Lady's Shoe Boutique owner Jan Simpson said in the shoe business sizes could differ.

"Because ours is a fitting thing (business) we often find that people would prefer to try before they buy unlike online shopping," Mrs Simpson said.

"Colour is another thing.

"Colours are not quite the same on screen compared to how they appear in real life."

She said gift vouchers were a popular gift choice.

"Our gift vouchers never expire," Mrs Simpson said.

"People might want to spend it now or in 12 months.

"We believe if you have bought it, it's yours to use when you want."

Being loyal to customers is important.

"We've been here for 30 years and we have customers we know really well," Mrs Simpson said.

"It's really important to have that customer relationship. We look after our customers who have bought from us for years."

Mackay Region Chamber of Commerce chairman Tim Miles said shopping in Mackay was fantastic for the economy.

"Local business owners have to differ from online businesses," Mr Miles said.

"At the end of the day, in the economic world they're all competing for the same dollar."

He said many businesses were adopting an online presence too. "There are a number of Mackay businesses who now have an online shopping experience.

"A lot of people don't understand they can still contribute to the community by buying online."

Creating a positive shopping experience is essential.

"Christmas or festive time ... shopping is more than just buying, it's an experience," Mr Miles said.

"Having that experience and great customer service ... it's about making it an enjoyable experience for people walking in the shop.

"Buying something from overseas or America ... it's difficult to get that service after you've bought a product.

"At least when you walk into a shop and there's an issue you can interact with someone."

Reader poll

Do you prefer to buy locally or online?

This poll ended on 03 December 2012.

Locally

60%

Online

40%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.



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