A recent study by ShopperTrak, entitled, ‘Redesigning Retail: What Does The Future Of Physical Retail Look Like?’ has detailed how the rise of e-Commerce is changing the expectations of consumers when they are visiting an off-line, physical retail outlet.
Growth of e-Commerce has meant that consumers are becoming increasingly used to having detailed product information to hand and are tending to go into the shop already knowing what they want to buy – having researched on the internet.
Staff with Better Knowledge
The study shows that although 38% of UK consumers still shop in-store in the same way as they did a year ago, 25% believe that their store experience could be improved with better staff. Staff with an in-depth knowledge of their products is now essential, as the study also shows that 15% would abandon the purchase if the sales assistant didn't have enough knowledge of the product.
Consumers are also increasingly expecting sales personnel to be able to have access to up-to-date information regarding reviews and stock amounts – usually provided through a device such as a tablet. This is an indication of some of the things that e-Commerce is doing right, and is becoming an essential part of the shopping experience for the consumer in 2017.
The most common reasons for people abandoning a purchase are still price (32%) and long queues (31%), 18% UK consumers have said that they will walk out if it took too long for a sales assistant to attend them.
What does this mean for e-Commerce?
These changes in off-line consumer expectations are occurring due to the rise in e-Commerce and the findings of the ShopperTrak report are a good indication of what is important to shoppers both on and off-line. They show what e-Commerce is doing well – with aspects such as stock information, buyer reviews and detailed product information being some of the most important – which physical retail outlets will need to incorporate if they hope to compete with the fast-growing world of e-Commerce.
One of the most important findings of the report is that consumers are expecting sales staff to be able to give extra information or added value to the information which they have already found, showing that one of the critical benefits for those who shop online is the amount of information which is available to them.
Whilst on and off-line shopping are separate entities, there is much to be learned from one to another. By incorporating the most effective parts of each experience, consumers can enjoy a better experience and businesses, more success.