The “Connected Shopper” study by Geometry Global is a global study that investigates how digital is impacting today’s shoppers.

I know, you’ve seen plenty of those before, and I thought the same thing initially, but the ‘Connected Shopper’ study involved 9,486 interviews across UK, USA, China, France, Germany, India, Brazil, Italy, Japan, Poland, Russia and Spain. In other words, it’s pretty comprehensive and worth a look.

If you haven’t heard of Geometry Global you’re not alone, but allow me to enlighten you. Geometry Global is a WPP company and the largest ‘activation’ agency in the world, created in June 2013 by the merger of G2, OgilvyAction and JWTAction with teams in 56 markets.

Here’s the summary; which indicates that the pace of online shopping growth is slower than expected.

For example; regular and frequent online purchasing, defined as buying online most days, had grown from only 5% in 2011 to 7%.

However, 88% of shoppers who visit a physical store prior to purchasing, cite seeing the product in real life as the primary reason for visiting.

65% use digital channels to research and browse prior to making a purchase and six out of ten people use mobile phones or tablets while visiting physical outlets.

The use of mobile phones in the physical store is highest in developing economies, with China (94%), India (87%) and Russia (74%) ranking top, while developed countries such as the UK (31%) and USA (36%) show much lower mobile use.

Furthermore, the number of people who purchase online infrequently, classed as once a month, has grown from 59% to 89% since 2011.

Of the countries studied, China came first in terms of the number of online purchases (5.88) with European countries much lower, including France (2.40) and Spain (2.17).

Drilling down into the detail, The “Connected Shopper” study shows that in the UK 63% of digital shoppers don’t see any point in ‘friending’ a brand online, but 70% of shoppers worldwide welcome geo-localised ads and promotions via mobile.

Although not bad news, and to be fair the growth in online shopping is still considerable, this research does show we still have some way to go before online shopping takes over completely. This is probably no bad thing for our towns, cities and communities that rely on retail outlets for commerce, employment and to some extent – culture.

You can download the report here