Global: Do people prefer to buy health/beauty products and medicines in-person or online?
October 20th, 2022, Hoang Nguyen

Global: Do people prefer to buy health/beauty products and medicines in-person or online?

One of the many pros of shopping in-person is being able to visit a store, browse through products and compare them side-by-side. There’s also the advantage of immediacy: shoppers can take the purchased item home right away instead of waiting for the order to be fulfilled and delivered.

In a recent poll, YouGov asked consumers across 18 international markets whether they preferred to buy certain types of products in store over doing so online. When it comes to things like groceries, most (60%) global consumers say they like to shop for them in a physical store.

When it comes to other fast-moving consumer goods, consumers appear to be less enthusiastic about their preference for shopping for these goods on-premises.

Looking at over-the-counter medicines, for instance, global consumers seem divided on whether they prefer to shop for them in stores (46%). The preference for in-store shopping falls to 31% when it comes to health and beauty products, suggesting that the benefits of in-store shopping are not as important to consumers when it comes to these types of products.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, older consumers show a stronger desire to shop at physical establishments as opposed to online. Consumers aged 55 and older prove more likely to say they prefer shopping in-store for medicines (46% vs. 55% of all global consumers) and health/beauty products (35% vs. 31%).

The data also shows variation by where consumers live. Consumers who live in Canada (39%), Mexico (35%) and the UAE (36%), for example, prefer to shop for health and beauty products in person compared to overall global consumer. Consumers across Europe are less eager to do so, with just 28% of Europeans saying they’ll buy these types of goods in-person as opposed to online.

When it comes to over-the-counter medicines, consumers in France (63%), Spain (59%), Canada (57%) and Australia (55%) are the most likely to say they prefer to buy them in-person. Those in Sweden (29%), Germany (37%), the UAE (37%), and US (40%) are among the least likely to say they prefer to buy medicine on-premises.

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