Did you know that more than 80% of consumers research a product prior to entering the store? So not only do they know as much or more about the product they’re buying, their purchase consists of bridging both digital and physical channels.
According to a recent survey by Sales Force, Inc., 42% of consumers surveyed said it would be helpful if the brick and mortar store was aware of the online research they did prior to entering the store so that they could receive better service.
With this knowledge of how the customer shops, retailers would be in a much better position to blend both the physical and digital channels of selling in order to meet customers’ expectations and create a positive sales experience.
Customers will no longer tolerate a time-consuming buying experience as Smartphones have become the new, faster selling tools of today’s customers. For example, while in the store location, a customer could be using a Smartphone to find a product at a better price, in a different colorways, or online to have it shipped to a home address or the store for pick up.
For physical stores to flourish, technology needs to be embraced and implemented at the store level. Further research conducted by Sales Force showed that 31% of customers want store associates to know what they previously purchased either in the store on online, but only 10% of consumers have been offered a recommendation or deal based on their purchase history.
In fact, it was reported that half of customers who shop in stores would be more likely to shop at a certain retailer based on the technology that store associates use to assist them. For example, sales associates with hand-held computers, can locate merchandise quickly, find merchandise from other stores, and ring up sales and returns – easily and quickly.
Customers’ behavior has changed and retailers must adapt to these changing needs in order to be viable and flourish. Providing an Omni-channel experience and differentiating themselves through exceptional customer service helps retailers to stay top of mind and keep the customer engaged.
Through online retailers, such as Amazon, consumers have now grown accustomed to shopping online where they can easily find their order history, repeat orders, issue returns, and have recommendations made based on prior products orders – all with free shipping. Physical stores need to arm their sales associates with this type of technology so that the shopping experience could be just as enjoyable, high-tech, customer-friendly, and care-free.