Retailers Struggle to Crack the Customer Experience Code Despite Acknowledging it’s the #1 Way to Stop Showrooming and Boost Sales
BOSTON – Industry experts predict online shopping growth will skyrocket, but according to more than 60 major retailers surveyed by TimeTrade, in-store sales are still driving an overwhelming majority of revenue, and will continue to do so over the next 12 months. However, mobile purchases, while in-store or on the go, will double over the next year as the debate shifts from e-commerce vs. brick-and-mortar to how online, mobile and physical channels work together to influence purchases.
“Showrooming and price matching are real challenges, but they’re causing retailers to lose focus on what really matters,” said Gary Ambrosino, President of TimeTrade. “Whether a customer actually buys or just browses – in store or elsewhere – hinges on a retailer’s ability to make that customer feel valued, give them undivided personal attention, and quickly connect them with the very best resource to help them find what they need, when, where and how they need it.”
And it’s not about price. According to retailers surveyed, 68 percent said the best way to combat showrooming is by improving the in-store experience or making it easier for customers to quickly find what they’re looking for. And while consumers are clearly still walking through store doors, retailers know expectations for service are both increasing and evolving. According to retailers surveyed, here’s what they think consumers now want:
- A truly personalized experience. Of the retailers surveyed, 60 percent said that a more personalized customer experience is the number-one thing missing today. The more retailers know about their customers before they walk in the door – the greater chance they have of providing a valuable, personalized and satisfied buying experience.
- Smart service reps. The role of retail associate is evolving and impacting sales: 80 percent of retailers surveyed said sales increase by 25-50 percent when customers are assisted by product experts. Retailers are reinventing job descriptions, being more selective about whom they hire and overhauling training programs to provide better in-store service.
- Fast service. Consumers are running low on time and patience and have more purchasing options than ever before. More than two-thirds of retailers surveyed said customers expect service in five minutes or less or they will abandon the purchase and shop elsewhere
“Watch the clock next time you’re standing in line waiting for service,” said Ambrosino. “How long are you willing to wait? Retailers that can crack the code on faster, more personal service are seeing the ultimate pay-off: much more revenue from satisfied, loyal customers.”
The world’s most well respected brands in retail, banking and industries worldwide use TimeTrade to deliver on their brand promise of a truly personalized customer experience. By putting customers at the core, TimeTrade customers have increased sales, dramatically improved customer loyalty, and streamlined their operations.
More than 80 million connections have been made between consumers and businesses using TimeTrade’s scalable Customer Engagement Platform, directly translating into more than $2 billion in commerce every year.