As a consumer, there’s no greater satisfaction than a positive shopping experience. With the use of technology, retailers have been working endlessly to improve the overall in-store experience, but he question remains- are they succeeding?
A recent study conducted by MotorolaSolutions revealed that overall in-store satisfaction has grown 23 percent in the last six years. Meanwhile, satisfaction with the checkout process and the availability of store associates has increased 32 percent and 23 percent respectively since 2008.
Retailers need to continue to offer options to shoppers across all channels – online, in-store and mobile, as shoppers also reported a dramatic increase in use of their smartphones for shopping-related activities including mobile couponing.
Some shoppers continue to prefer self-service while others want store associate assistance and engagement. This includes equipping associates with innovative technology to answer questions and create a faster check-out experience. Across the retail environment including online, mobile and in the store, technology solutions are helping retailers help improve every aspect of the shopper’s experience.
Here are some key areas, according to the survey, where technology is enhancing the in-store experience.
Boosting Sales with Technology-Equipped Store Associates
Improving in-store communication between staff and managers would have a significant positive effect on shopper satisfaction in the opinion of 80 percent of retail associates surveyed.
The surveyed also revealed that 45 percent of shoppers would buy at least 50 percent more merchandise from retailers that provided better customer service.
Almost six in 10 shoppers -58 percent to be exact, have a better shopping experience when store associates use handheld mobile computers to provide pricing and product availability information. More than 65 percent of store associates agreed that they could better serve customers with these technologies.
Retailers can recover 68 percent of out-of-stock incidents if they are prepared to offer shoppers the option to order the items before leaving the store and shipping the items to their homes.
Store associates offered purchase and ship options beyond traditional in-store purchases, according to 61 percent of survey repsondants. Approximately 35 percent of store associates were able to offer online or mobile ordering with in-store pick up for OOS items and 30 percent could ship OOS items bought in-store to shoppers’ homes.
Mobile point-of-sale solutions enhanced the experience of 48 percent of shoppers while 52 percent of retail associates recognized the positive effect of mobile checkouts.
The Mobile Shopping Experience
The survey showed 54 percent of store associates still report that shoppers are better connected to product information than they are, but retailers are closing the gap as this figure dropped 5 percent from last year.
Surveyed retail associates- 60 percent of them- recognize the positive effect of mobile loyalty account access on the shopper experience.
More than 81 percent of Gen Y shoppers and nearly 73 percent of Gen X shoppers used their personal mobile device for shopping-related activities.
Shoppers reported using their mobile device for mobile coupons, representing a 7 percent increase from last year, but, 43 percent of shoppers reported dissatisfaction with the availability of mobile coupons.
Less than one-third of shoppers reported finding information faster on their smartphones than asking a store associate for help. (Source: MotorolaSolutions 2014 Shopping Study)
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