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Survey: Lack of in-store personalization can lose retailers money

BY Marianne Wilson

TEWKSBURY, Mass. — Disappointing shopping experiences are costing brick-and-mortar retailers serious money.

That’s according to the recent TimeTrade State of Retail 2017 survey, whose results suggest that U.S. retail stores left about $150 billion in potential revenue on the table in 2016 by failing to offer shoppers the personalized shopping experiences they want.  

Respondents said that, on average, they would increase their in-store spending by 4.7% if they received better, more personalized service from retailers.  

“Just imagine the positive financial impact on brick-and-mortar retailers if revenue jumped by 5%,” said Gary Ambrosino, CEO of TimeTrade. “A renewed focus on providing shoppers with a better, more personal in-store experience would go a long way toward stemming the tide of defection to competitors and online sellers.”

Nearly half (49%) of  survey respondents said they “never” or only “sometimes” receive what they consider to be personalized service. In fact, 70% of the time they shop they said they “never” or only “sometimes” can find a sales associate when they need assistance. Seventy-one percent of consumers surveyed said they sometimes or always abandon dressing rooms and leave stores if they can’t obtain help with sizes, color, etc.

On the other hand, 88% said that when helped by knowledgeable associates they are “somewhat likely” or “extremely likely” to make the purchase.

Despite the continued growth of online shopping, 82% of respondents said they still do half or more of their shopping in physical stores (excluding grocery stores). Even when an item is available online — as well as in a nearby store — 75% respondents said they preferred to buy from the physical store.

When asked what they value most when shopping in a retail store, respondents cited prompt service (47.3%), personalized experiences (26.2%) and smart recommendations (17.2%) the most. To improve service, 64% said they would like to schedule in-store appointment (from any device) with a retail associate at a time most convenient to them.

MILLENNIALS: Millennials said they would enjoy improved shopping experiences if provided personal assistants/shoppers (45%), beacon technologies (31%), and organized systems with wait-time displays and text/email updates when their turn is near (29%).

“In-store shopping is far from dead — but it does have to change to keep up with the trends,” Ambrosino said. “These survey results show that people definitely like shopping in stores so they can touch and feel products, and because they enjoy receiving prompt, personalized service. The key to success for brick-and-mortar retailers is to fully utilize their existing staff and relentlessly focus on providing personalized service to every customer across the board and capture that additional revenue, instead of letting those dollars go elsewhere.”

Click on the infographic below for more. 

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Albertsons names Mayes SVP external affairs, chief diversity officer

BY David Salazar
BOISE, Idaho — Albertsons on Friday appointed Jonathan Mayes to the post of SVP external affairs and chief diversity officer. In his new role, he will head up the company’s diversity and inclusion efforts, as well as its government relationships, philanthropy and sustainability departments.
Christopher Mayes
“As one of the largest employers in the U.S., Albertsons Companies has a responsibility to grow a workforce that reflects the rich diversity of the communities we serve and to have a positive and transformative impact on them,” Albertsons chairman and CEO Bob Miller. “Diversity is vital to who we are as a company and I am pleased to have found someone within our team who champions our culture and values.”
Mayes began his career as senior counsel at American Stores in 1991, joining Sageway in 1994 and being promoted to the position of director of government relations. In 2010 he became SVP public affairs, government relations, sustainability and diversity affairs, which he held following the company’s 2015 merger with Albertsons
“I am honored to take on this role and looking forward to continuing to elevate Albertsons Companies’ outreach, growth and leadership through an even stronger focus on diversity,” Mayes said. “Albertsons Companies has developed a corporate culture that fosters different values, ideas and backgrounds, providing a firm foundation that will enable us to continue to attract a diverse set of talent and help our stores better engage with the local communities we serve.”
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CVS commits $10M to eradicate tobacco use among nation’s youth

BY Brian Berk

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Health will spend $10 million in new and expanded partnerships and programs to launch the second year of Be The First, its five-year, $50 million commitment in an effort to help deliver the nation’s first tobacco-free generation.

Introduced in March 2016, the program is targeted toward youth and young adults who currently smoke or are at risk of becoming regular tobacco users; the country's 3 million elementary school children who, without early tobacco education, may become future tobacco users; and adult smokers who expose children to tobacco use. 

"Tobacco continues to be the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the United States, yet 2,100 youth and young adults still become daily cigarette smokers," said Troyen Brennan, M.D., M.P.H., and Chief Medical Officer for CVS Health. "CVS Health recognizes that by bringing together experts in the public health community and aggressively implementing strategies to reduce tobacco use, we have the opportunity to deliver the first tobacco-free generation.

According to CVS, since launching the initiative, it has reached nearly 5 million young people with anti-smoking programming and has helped 20 colleges and universities pursue 100% smoke-and tobacco-free campus policies.

"In the year since we introduced Be The First, we've seen very good progress, but we know there is much more to be done in schools, on college campuses and in our communities," said Eileen Howard Boone, president of the CVS Health Foundation. "We're pleased to sustain this momentum by expanding partnerships with best-in-class organizations and identifying new partners that will bring the expertise needed to move us one step closer to the first tobacco-free generation."

CVS also announced the CVS Health Foundation is funding a new online training program with courses to train youth and adults to become tobacco prevention ambassadors. These courses are focused on how tobacco affects youth, including the growing availability of candy-flavored e-cigarettes and cigars, and ways for people to advocate for tobacco-free communities. The announcement of this new resource coincides this week with Kick Butts Day on March 15, the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids' national day of activism that empowers youth to stand out, speak up and mobilize their communities in fighting tobacco use.

"CVS Health has shown tremendous leadership in helping people lead tobacco-free lives by bringing the public health and private sector communities together to work on this public health crisis," said Matthew L. Myers, president, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and member of CVS Health's Be The First national advisory council. "We look forward to continuing to work with CVS Health to improve the lives of America's children and young adults and win the fight against tobacco for good."

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