The Evolution of Buyers’ Habits

Buyer’s habits have been changing at a pace – have you noticed?

Just a few decades ago the only real way to shop was by going in-store and purchasing face to face. E-commerce has changed that in the last decade with fast fashion giving us the option of never having to leave our homes again!

We’ve now hit a wonderful middle ground, where people are enjoying a mixed shopping experience – to buy online is easy, but you can’t beat the real experience.

So, with our Rochdale Riverside development nearing completion in Easter 2020 with an impressive tenant roster including H&M, Next, River Island, JD Sports, Boots and M&S who continue to provide their customers with a great retail experience, we thought we would take a look at the evolution of buyers’ habits over the last few decades, and take a guess about what we can expect in future years.

Let’s go.


70s – 90s

Prior to the creation of e-commerce – and the internet for that matter – consumers had no choice but to visit the shops in person to find what they were looking for. In fact, in 1994 only 0.5% of the UK population had access to the internet.

This made the buying experience quite straight forward – you could only purchase as much as you could carry in your cart, and with fewer competing brands you had less choice.

Simpler times, for sure. Which were all about to change wit the introduction of ecommerce.



The breakthrough of the century that completely revolutionised shoppers’ habits was the introduction of e-commerce. The phenomenon resulted in the removal of international borders and completely raised the bar for customer experience. As well as this, it enabled ‘regular’ people to sell online on websites such as Ebay and Amazon.

In Britain today, research has found that around 48% of people do their food shopping online, with the UK’s e-commerce market now worth an astounding £586 billion.

Online shoppers also tend to be well informed on the product they are looking to buy – statistics have shown that around three quarters of young people tend to research the brand before visiting a store or ordering online.

But even with the countless advantages to shopping online, people can’t get enough of going in-store.




Despite the rise in e-commerce and internet shopping, in-store shopping still maintains a solid performance year on year. 2019 statistics have found that 28% of consumers are shopping in-store more often than last year. Furthermore, 92% of respondents indicated that the in-store shopping experience offered higher customer satisfaction than online. The convenience of online shopping is obvious, but in terms of results it’s clear that customers are returning en masse to in-store shopping.

‘Retailtainment’ is also on the rise, as people plan whole days around a shopping experience – going to select shops to browse, enjoying a couple of hours at the cinema watching the latest blockbuster and then ending with a meal out. It’s a social experience that’s been making more of a comeback in recent years. Retail therapy is as alive and well as ever.


About Rochdale Riverside

Rochdale Riverside is a brand-new retail and leisure district that’s coming to Rochdale this year. Developed by Genr8 with Willmott Dixon managing the construction, the space will bring a huge new consumer market to the region and hopes to drive investment throughout the borough.

Our current list of occupiers includes H&M, Next, River Island, JD Sports, Boots, M&S, Nando’s, Heavenly Desserts, Superdrug, REEL Cinema and Hollywood Bowl, offering visitors a full ‘retailtainment’ experience.

Due to open on Easter weekend 2020, Rochdale Riverside will have further occupier announcements in coming months, and will kick off with a launch party the likes of which Rochdale has never seen!

We hope you can make it.


And that’s it

With the buyers’ journey more advanced than ever, it’s wonderful to see the excitement that in-store shopping can still generate after all these years. Long may it continue.

To hear more about our development, simply follow us on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.

If you’re thinking about relocating to Rochdale, get in touch with our agents Lambert Smith Hampton on 0161 228 6411 or Cheetham Mortimer on 0161 832 3375 today to discover what Rochdale Riverside can offer you!