Half of shoppers identify a lack of in-store staff as a barrier to making a final purchase
The research by field marketing specialist Gekko also revealed that 36% of shoppers use advice from an in-store expert to influence their purchase decisions.
Despite the assumption that young people prefer to shop and research products online, the study found that a third of 18-24 year olds said they preferred receiving in-store advice from staff to help them with their purchasing decisions.
Daniel Todaro, managing director at Gekko, said: “Store staff are vitally important in helping customers make purchasing decisions. This research shows that customers often need a two-way discussion with knowledgeable staff, especially when considering high-ticket items. While digital offerings and an enhanced omnichannel retail presence are important in the retail cycle, retailers should consider the research findings as a stark reminder that shoppers prefer a personal touch when it comes to purchasing luxury or high ticket items.”
The study also suggests that brands need to strike the right balance to improve the in-store experience. Shoppers were found to be quick to criticise staff with 52% complaining that they are too pushy when making a sale.
“Shoppers are turned off by staff that are too keen to make a sale,” added Todaro. “They usually know what they are looking for from research online, so want to speak with honest, supportive staff that have both the brand and the shopper’s interests at the core of the customer journey.”
The research found that the opportunity to discuss intended purchases with staff increased dwell time to more than ten minutes for 33% of consumers. A further 29% of shoppers said they would return to a store if they received helpful feedback on the shop floor.
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