Millennials, not Boomers, say associates are key to shopping experiences
A new survey of shoppers at malls finds most agree that store associates are important factors in the shopping experience. In a twist on conventional wisdom, however, its younger consumers with their tech-centric ways who find associates to be more important — by a wide margin —over older shoppers.
Sixty-three of everyone surveyed by ChargeItSpot said that store associates are “extremely important” while 28 percent thought they were “somewhat important.” Only nine percent had little to no use for associates.
When broken out by age, 66 percent of respondents between 18 and 35 thought sales associates were extremely important compared to 54 percent for those between 36 and 51 and less than half (49 percent) of those 52 or older.
“Retailers strive to deliver rewarding experiences to shoppers every time they enter a store,” said Douglas Baldasare, CEO and founder of ChargeItSpot, in a statement. “Store associates represent the brand and are there to help shoppers with their needs.”
One area in which more younger consumers side with technology over humans is in the use of robots. When asked whether they would stop shopping at a store if it replaced human workers with robots, only 42 percent of 18 to 35-year-olds said no vs. 54 percent of those between 36 and 51. Fifty-one percent of those 52 and up said they would not shop at a store under the same circumstances.
Overall, 43 percent of those surveyed by ChargeItSpot said they would stop shopping at stores that replace humans with machines. Twenty-seven percent said they would continue to shop at stores in this circumstance, while the remaining 30 percent said they may or may not.
“We are seeing more technology being integrated into the in-store experience,” said Mr. Baldasare. “Amazon is already testing the cashier-less checkout process in their Amazon Go location, eliminating the need for human workers altogether. While this may seem like a perk for some, it could turn shoppers away from stores.”
- STUDY: 66% of Millennials Say Presence of Store Employees is Extremely Important to Their Shopping Experience – ChargeItBack
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Why do younger consumers seem to value human associates while remaining more open to the use of robot replacements? Do these survey results make you more or less skeptical about the use of robots to replace humans in stores?