Our research highlights both the many challenges and new opportunities faced by traditional bricks and mortar retail today, as it attempts to adapt to the new multichannel environment and the ever-present ‘showrooming’ effect.
At the heart of our study lies a retailer/customer communication breakdown, which has turned many of the less progressive bricks and mortar stores into little more than demo areas, or showrooms.
With 75% of online shoppers reporting that retail staff ‘fail to communicate well’ and only 50% of click and collect customers believing that ‘retail staff explained products and services’, it is little surprise that traditional retail is having such a tough time.
Customers are Information hungry, price savvy and demand exceptional service. Unless they can engage with an empathetic, informed retail professional, chances are they’ll take their business online.
Our Managing Director, Christine Knott comments; "The modern sales journey often involves a range of touch points, with buying decisions based on a mixture of online, in-store and mobile engagements. For in-store retailers, to add genuine value to that journey is a question of training.Staff need to be better informed, better guided and sufficiently empowered, so they can meet customers’ ever evolving expectations.”
In contrast to technology staff, whose knowledge is trusted the least, 78% of customers said that they think retail staff in DIY and Garden Centres are the best at understanding the products and explaining the benefits.A finding that underlines the positive contribution of retail staff sufficiently equipped, to deliver the depth of knowledge and service shoppers demand
Christine concludes, "There are clear opportunities here for retailers prepared to empower their staff with targeted, knowledge based training and clear brand values. Not only is it the way forward, service is key to helping in-store retail play its full part in the new multichannel environment.”