90% of shoppers dissatisfied with store associate service, says report

If businesses have been wondering why their customers have abandoned them for e-tailers, Tulip Retail’s survey may have some answers.

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The company, a mobile application platform for stores and their sales staff, conducted a survey to better understand shoppers’ (especially disgruntled shoppers) behaviors and needs.
 
83% of respondents claimed that they felt they know more about the brand/store than sales associates. And 90% of respondents shopped at Amazon and felt that store associates could not meet their expectations.
 
"Our survey had some sobering findings that should keep executives of brick-and-mortar retailers up at night," said Ali Asaria, CEO of Tulip Retail in a press release. "But there's also some really good news for retailers that our survey uncovered – knowledgeable store associates are valued by shoppers, and those empowered with mobile technology are delivering better shopping experiences. Bottom line, investing in store associates needs to be a high priority. With the right tools, they can become beacons of knowledge, trusted advisors and drive sales."
 
While the study found that 77% of the focus group felt that the biggest advantage of a retail store over an e-tailer was the ability to see and try on merchandise, only 53% felt that sales assistants were either “very valuable, very helpful” or “valuable, helpful.” Out of the group, only 30% knew store associates by name.
 
The study also found that 63% of the group preferred to shop in-store and online. The question remains: is this a showrooming group, those who visit a store to see goods, then shop online to purchase them? The answer to that question and how to retain consumers is to amp up customer service.
 
Tulip Retail delved deeper into their study by asking what behaviors they would like to see from sales associates. 79% responded that it was important to deal with a knowledgeable sales staff. A further 73% would be interested in sales people who could either text or email them about placed orders. Interacting with consumers and using a product device that could provide easy credit card checkout, inventory look-up and product info rated highly with 72% of the group.
 
Technology can greatly assist in sales. Mobile devices allow customers to purchase items without waiting on a long line, or can let them know that a different branch may have an item that is temporarily out of stock at their present location. However, technology needs to partner with a personable sales force that has been educated about the company and the goods they sell. 



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