Online shopping is convenient. But convenience, it turns out, isn’t what every shopper is looking for. According to a new report on the state of retail, the overwhelming majority of consumers — 85 percent — prefer shopping in brick-and-mortar stores, instead of online.
TimeTrade’s report said that consumers casting their preference with in-store shopping said they wanted to “touch and feel the products” before making decisions on purchases. Overall, 90 percent of shoppers said they plan to shop in stores as much, or more often, in 2016 than the year before.
Asked to identify the shopping experience qualities they prefer the most, 54 percent said they wanted prompt service. Thirty percent valued a personalized experience, and 16 percent said they wanted smart recommendations.
“Not just retailers, but all companies should take these data points as a sounding bell, that despite all devices and apps that consumers use today, the way they gauge their customer experience is by their quality of help,” the report says. “If organizations today do not offer immediate help, the result may be a lost sale and perhaps a loss in brand loyalty.”
Selling The Experience
According to the report, the data is consistent in identifying top consumer motivations. It’s clear the average shopper wants to do their shopping in-stores — the question is what’s holding them back. Over and over again, the data indicates the quality of experience as the key to successful in-store selling.
Many of the pain points identified are easily addressed through better mobile technology built into stores. As mobile retail tech opens the door to more efficient sales floor service and greater in-store personalization, consumers find themselves seeking a VIP-like service when they enter a store.
The TimeTrade report finds a gaping hole in fulfillment of this desire: only 27 percent of consumers feel that major retailers were attempting to provide that VIP experience.
Consumers are likely demanding such an experience because they know it’s possible to service these desires. Assisted selling and clienteling tools can address many of these points of concern, offering personalized recommendations, fast and informed sales floor assistance, and more fluid omnichannel shopping options.
This should be encouraging for any retailer operating physical stores. Consumers aren’t shy about what they want, and their desires offer simple guidelines to increase in-store traffic and brand loyalty.
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