Shoppers want help and aren’t getting it
Consumers who research products online get many of the answers they need before shopping in stores, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have any remaining questions. They can turn to sales associates, but many wind up questioning that decision shortly after entering stores, according to new research.
According to 2014 Sales Associate Interaction Study by Tulip Retail, 40 percent of shoppers say getting help and advice is the most important reason for them to shop in physical stores. Unfortunately, 74 percent of those report their biggest frustration comes from speaking with associates who do not have the information they need.
According to the study’s respondents, only 36 percent found associates "very helpful" in answering their product questions. Only 34 percent said associates were "very helpful" when it came to answering questions about inventory.
The research found a direct correlation between levels of help and consumer purchases. Ninety-two percent of shoppers who said the service they received was "very helpful" made an in-store purchase and 97 percent wound us spending as much or more than they planned as a result. Sixty-eight percent of shoppers who did not find sales associates to be helpful did not make a purchase.
"Sales associates are earning a failing grade on even the simplest of customer service requests," said April Dunford, COO of Tulip, in a statement. "Without this basic foundation, associates can’t begin to offer the next level of customer service, like recommendations."
- Study: U.S. Shoppers Three Times More Likely to Webroom Than Showroom – Tulip Retail/Marketwired
- 2014 Sales Associate Interaction Study – Tulip Retail
Why do so many customers complain about the level of service they receive from sales associates? Are retailers prepared to make the changes necessary to address the issue? For those that are, how do they go about doing it?