In the News
Today, more and more consumers have already done their homework when they walk into a store. They come armed with knowledge around product features, pricing and competitors’ offerings and expect store associates to be mind readers. To know when and how they want to be approached in the store, what other products might interest them and even their past buying behavior.
There’s no shortage of interest in the rise of mobile and online shopping, but the truth of the matter is that brick-and-mortar stores continue to dominate the retail space. TimeTrade recently conducted a survey of over 1,000 consumers and found that 87% of respondents said they plan to shop in stores in 2015 at least as often as they did in 2014.
With retail headlines touting the power of mobile shopping and offering ways to compete with online retailers, you might think in-store shopping is on the decline. However, a recent study of over 1,000 consumers from TimeTrade, a customer engagement consulting firm, found that many shoppers across generations still prefer the in-store experience to other options. In fact, nearly two-thirds of those surveyed prefer to shop in store when a desired product is available both online and in the store.
Delivering superior customer service has been a focus for retailers since the dawn of modern shopping. We’ve all heard the phrase, “the customer is always right,” an indicator of the importance retailers put on delivering an excellent shopping experience. After all, a happy customer means a loyal customer, which in turn, means more sales.
Facebook is developing its own digital assistant called Moneypenny, which will directly rival on-demand concierge service, Magic. Now, Scratch has entered the ring, with an app aimed at connecting consumers with real people to help them buy products and services online. The Boston-based startup recently raised $3.6 million, reports TechCrunch. However, one major difference that sets Scratch apart is the claim that its prices are the same as purchasing from a retailer, charging no additional fees for delivery. Scratch also offers a “Best Price Promise,” meaning that if a customer finds a lower price online within 30 days of purchasing on Scratch, they will refund the difference. It is also available on the web, in addition to its mobile app.
Trying to entice customers to purchase products from a remote source isn’t anything new. In the glory days of printed catalogs, retail giants like Sears, Roebuck & Co. started out selling a small selection of merchandise and expanded their offerings to include a wealth of products ranging from tools to clothing to entire homes. L.L.Bean founded its retail kingdom selling boots by mail order.
It’s a myth that people don’t get hired over the summer. Yes, people are on vacation, so hiring typically slows down as interviews are harder to schedule, but people do get hired. As a job seeker, this means that the summer is a great time to rev up your search – your competition may take time off, assuming a hiring slowdown. Your hard-to-reach networking contacts may have a lighter, summer schedule and actually be reachable. Depending on your search goals, you might even have new opportunities because of the summer season.
Between May 2014 and May 2015, mobile devices increased their share of US ecommerce site traffic by 5 percentage points to pass desktop for the majority stake, according to data from Branding Brand, which looked at retail websites specifically designed for mobile devices. This was thanks to smartphones, which expanded their lead over tablets from 14 percentage points to a whopping 25 points.
Despite the rise of e-Commerce, brick-and-mortar stores are as relevant as ever. In fact, disposable income spent by U.S. consumers in stores will reach $5 trillion by 2020, according to eMarketer. In fact, 85% of consumers say they prefer to shop in physical stores, according to TimeTrade research. And, if given the opportunity, 71% of consumers said they would even prefer to shop at an Amazon store over Amazon.com.
Amazon.ca will now offer clothes and shoes from brands such as Levi’s, Puma, and French Connection, adding 1.5 million items to its inventory, according to Reuters. Last year, the online retailer added online stores such as “home automation” and “wearable technology,” reaching a total of more than 100 million items in its inventory.