Survey: Retailers should invest in better support, faster checkout for stores

The demise of physical retail stores has been significantly exaggerated. Although there have been numerous shop closings and bankruptcies, some suppliers (e. g., Macys, Target) possess recently reported strong earnings and therefore are seeing more in-store customers. Additionally , there has been growth in store openings for a few chains.

But it’ s certainly true that actual physical retail needs to change if it’ s going to thrive against the background of e-commerce and increasingly challenging shoppers. Location intelligence company GroundTruth recently released a survey based report that sheds some gentle on areas where retailers need to commit to keep their stores competitive.

Shoppers hate checkout outlines

Based on a study of 2, 000 US customers, the report  identified major off-line retail shopping pain points, which includes crowds and long lines. Additionally, it ranked a number of factors that customers say would make in-store purchasing a better experience:

  • Quick checkout — 81 %
  • Self-checkout — seventy six percent
  • Good client service/ helpful sales people — sixty six percent
  • Sample associated with things I might want to buy — sixty four percent
  • Ability to use the internet and pick-up in-store — fifty eight percent
  • Technology I could try (kiosks, games, virtual reality) — 45 percent
  • Experiences and entertainment (music, video clips, interactive display) — 41 %
  • Events (pop-ups, training courses, classes) — 33 percent

Despite not attempting to deal with crowds and lines, nearly all survey respondents still preferred to purchase things in stores in most categories. Exclusions were in the categories of electronics, clothes and, surprisingly, furniture, where individuals were more agnostic.

Not really discussed in the survey report, among the untold stories of e-commerce consists of the role of the store within taking the risk out of buying on the internet. Shoppers often buy online from conventional retailers because they can return items offline if not satisfied.

Consumer shopping preferences

The importance of good service

Another area explored in the statement is the role of in-store assistance. The survey found that solid service can lead to customer loyalty, along with 81 percent of respondents stating they are likely to return to a store exactly where service is “ exceptional. ” In addition , 75 percent said that they might be likely to recommend that store/brand in order to friends or family when they encounter strong customer service.

The idea that service is important to consumers is both well established empirically plus pretty intuitive, though many merchants for years have been lowering costs simply by reducing the skill level of their in-store associates. There are of course clear exceptions for this. But many retail workers are present to use cash registers or answer sensitive questions rather than provide genuine recommendations or input into purchase choices.

The GroundTruth results argue that retailers should invest in technologies to enable faster checkout and employ sales and support staff that may really be helpful to in-store shoppers.

Consumers expect to continue buying in stores

Across types, the majority of survey respondents said these people intended to maintain or increase present in-store shopping levels. Categories which are likely to grow the percentage associated with e-commerce spending are shoes, clothes and electronics.

Expected change in future buying preferences

Finally, retailers have got always regarded in-store shoppers a lot more valuable than online buyers. That’ s because they’ re more prone to buy additional items when existing or when they return past buys. The survey provided additional approval for this perception: 38 percent associated with respondents aid they spent a lot more in-store, while only 18 % said they spend more money on-line. The remaining 44 percent estimated they will spent an equivalent amount on the web and in stores.

About The Writer

Greg Sterling is an Adding Editor at Search Engine Land. This individual writes a personal blog, Screenwerk , regarding connecting the dots between electronic media and real-world consumer conduct. He is also VP of Technique and Insights for the Local Lookup Association. Follow him on Twitter or find him at Google+ .

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