What do know-it-all shoppers want?
According to a survey from Tulip Retail, 83 percent of shoppers believe they’re more knowledgeable than store associates.
Consumers for some time have expressed this sentiment, with gains in their ability to do online research from home or on their smartphones. But the numbers are increasing versus past surveys.
Tulip, a provider of apps for associates and managers, not surprisingly believes the data points to the need to help make associates smarter.
- Nearly 50 percent of survey respondents said a knowledgeable associate who could suggest products based on their purchase history would encourage them to shop in-store;
- Seventy-two percent that dealt with an associate who used a mobile device to provide things like product info, checkout and inventory look-up said the information resulted in a better shopping experience;
- Seventy-three percent would be interested in having a store associate text or e-mail them about the status of their order.
Yet other studies have found smarter shoppers need a new type of in-store experience.
Deloitte’s “Navigating the New Digital Divide” report from 2015 argued that empowering associates with digital access or information would help them to maintain relevance with customers. At the same time, providing free internet was offered as one way to support the “self-sufficient hunter/customer.” Deloitte’s survey at the time showed nearly 50 percent of consumers who received associate assistance on their last store trip would prefer to have been able to perform the same action themselves on their own device.
New research from Avanade and EKN Research finds that 60 percent of retailers believe stores in the next two or three years will shift from a focus on traditional sales to more theme-based environments focused on attracting specific customer segments. Yet most aren’t planning to refocus associates on customer-facing activities to support this change.
The report concludes, “To close the gap between their 2020 vision and their ability to realize it, retailers must adopt digital automation in terms of not just smartphones, but also smart merchandise, wearable devices and POS tablets, and rethink and reallocate how employees spend their time in the stores.”
- More than 80% of Shoppers Believe They’re More Knowledgeable than Retail Store Associates, According to New Tulip Retail Survey – Tulip Retail
- Navigating The New Digital Divide – Deloitte
- Retail Stores To Transform To Theme-Based Approach Says New Avanade Study – Avanade/PR Newswire
- Digital workplace capabilities and tools will be critical as retail stores shift towards new formats – Avanade
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do knowledgeable shoppers want more knowledgeable associates or will they prefer to do it all themselves? How must associate roles change and which technologies will help?