Shoppers Want to Be Left to Their Own 'Devices'
by Farla Efros
For decades, the most successful retailers thrived by employing in-store associates to provide shoppers with excellent customer service, advice and individualized attention. In the digital age, however, consumers prefer much less human interaction. They’re instead looking to various in-store technologies for help, advice, product and price information, and convenience.
To better understand what drives shoppers into stores, and the experience they’re looking for when they get there, HRC Retail Advisory surveyed nearly 3,000 consumers across North America and found that an astounding 95 percent prefer to be left alone while shopping, unless they specifically need a store associate’s help. This indicates that retailers need to effectively balance human customer service and recommendations with the right technologies that provide shoppers with the help and product information they need.
Many retailers have been racing against the clock to bring the newest and hottest technologies into their stores in order to make shopping more enjoyable and encourage repeat visits.
A few technology and service offerings that survey respondents said are especially important to the in-store experience:
• Price-check scanners.
• Reserve online, pick up in-store.
• Access to social media in-store.
By supplementing human customer service with offerings such as in-store price scanners, push notifications sent via smartphone, and in-store Wi-Fi, retailers have the greatest chance to align their tech investments with consumers’ expectations and preferences.