The latest installment of the Motorola Solutions annual holiday study indicates that the majority of surveyed retail associates believe that shoppers were better connected to consumer information than in-store associates, driven by increasing availability of online shopping tools and mobile phone applications that allow price comparisons, access to coupons and social-networking.
The survey found that retailers that aren’t investing in technology to stay ahead of increasingly tech-savvy shoppers are hurting their own bottom line. 28% of store visits ended with an average of $132 unspent due to abandoned purchases driven by deal-habituated behavior, out-of-stocks, limited store associate assistance and long check-out processes.
|Product Awareness “The shopper today is better connected to product information than store associates… “ (% of Retailers)|
|Response||% of Retailer Responses|
|Neither agree nor disagree||26|
|Source: Motorola Solutions, January 2011|
Nearly 25% of surveyed shoppers said they would be very likely to take advantage of a sales associate using a handheld payment terminal to complete their purchase, compared to only 9% who would be very likely to use their own mobile phone to scan their items and process payment without assistance.
The survey found that when surveyed shoppers received guidance from a retail associate armed with a handheld mobile computer, 43% reported the device improved their shopping experience. The survey also notes that an overwhelming majority of retailers, 87%, believe that shoppers can easily find a better deal so customer service, aided by access to real-time information, is “more important than ever.”
Additional findings in the survey include the need to empower the mobile worker:
- 55% of surveyed retailers cite shoppers as better connected to information than store associates
- More than half of surveyed retail associates voiced that they had little time to help customers because of pressure to get other tasks completed
- 85% of surveyed retail associates agreed that improving in-store communication between staff and managers would have a significant effect on customer satisfaction
And, the respondents suggest the need to push to enable real-time visibility:
- 34% of surveyed retail managers cited frustration when alerted they need to replenish stock after getting complaints, instead of knowing ahead of time
- 55% of losses due to out-of-stocks could very likely be recovered with store associate interventions; specifically, when store associates have the capability to track down the item and offer a solution, most customers will complete their purchase with that retailer
- 68% of surveyed retail associates would find the capability to scan barcodes to check inventory and availability of items requested by customers helpful in a small mobile device form factor that is deployed to every associate
Additional findings from retail associates included:
- Retail associates said that they had little time to help customers because of pressure to get other tasks completed
- They agreed that improving in-store communication between staff and managers would have a significant effect on customer satisfaction
- And the managers felt frustration when alerted they need to replenish stock after getting complaints, instead of knowing ahead of time
Frank Riso, senior director of Motorola Solutions, says that “Retailers have put their associates at a significant disadvantage to connected consumers… citing that shoppers are better connected than their in-store associates… (and) that shoppers can easily find a better deal… ”
For more about the study from Motorola, please visit here.