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Brick-and-Mortar Retailers Disappointing Consumers

Disappointing shopping experiences are costing brick-and-mortar retailers serious money, according to the latest TimeTrade State of Retail 2017 survey of U.S. consumers.

The survey 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 percent — if they received better, more personalized service from retailers.

Previous surveys of retail executives consistently show they believe their stores do provide customers with personalized shopping experiences. But consumers see things differently. About half of this year’s survey respondents (49 percent) said they “never” or only “sometimes” receive what they consider to be personalized service. In fact, 70 percent 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 percent 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 percent of respondents said they still do half or more of their shopping in physical stores (excluding grocery stores). Moreover, 70 percent said they planned to do the same in 2017, with 14 percent saying they would increase the amount of shopping they do in-store. Even when an item is available online—as well as in a nearby store—75 percent of respondents said they preferred to buy from the physical store.

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