Online Shoppers Want a More Human Experience (Report)

Empowering sales associates to offer recommendations can create a more personalized experience that drives retail success, both online and in stores.

Omnichannel marketing creates an opportunity for marketers to support customers throughout their purchase journey. However, one of the things marketers need to do with omnichannel is respond effectively to the will of the customer. A report from retail technology provider Salesfloor examined customer desires when it comes to in-store shopping.

Customers still visit retail locations, partially to see what’s on offer, but largely because they want to interact with associates for advice. According to the report, 58 percent of customers said that online shopping lacks the level of service provided by in-store associates, and 84 percent said they seek advice or recommendations from sales associates.

Fifty-three percent of the customers surveyed also wanted the opportunity to shop online with a sales associate in-store, and 58 percent would like to see the recommendations and advice of sales associates when they are shopping online themselves.

According to the report, this level of interaction between customers and retail sales associates has a proven impact on sales. Among the customers surveyed, 87 percent were more likely to buy an item recommended by a sales associate, and 77 percent were more likely to make a purchase from a sales associate that has helped them before.

The report suggested empowering local associates to assist in the online shopping process:

By helping their associates connect with customers online, retailers can build relationships at scale while providing a consistent shopping experience for all customers, on all platforms. Sales associates should not only be limited to serving the local in-store customer, but also the local online customer.

Creating a personalized experience that extends across all platforms is what will drive future retail success, both online and in stores. Many consumers are frustrated with online shopping experiences, which results in lots of abandoned carts. Part of this frustration stems from the online shopping process itself, because it lacks the personal touch, which can create barriers to conversion.

For more insight into strengthening your business through a personalized experience, download Salefloor’s full report.