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Lack of in store staff a barrier to making a final purchase

Field marketing specialists, Gekko, have found that 50% of shoppers feel a lack of in store staff is impacting their final decision to make a purchase.

This latest consumer study, which investigates what drives consumers in store and online, has also revealed that 36% of shoppers use advice from an in store expert to influence their purchase decisions.

There is a clear case of missed opportunity when it comes to maximising in store purchases for many retailers. While over a third of shoppers use advice obtained from a member of staff, half of shoppers feel there is a lack of those staff members in store.

Despite the assumption that young people prefer to shop and research products using digital means, the research shows that 33% of 18-24 year olds actually prefer receiving in store advice from staff to help them with their purchasing decision.

Daniel Todaro, MD at Gekko, said: “Store staff are vitally important in helping customers make purchasing decisions. This research shows that customers often need a two-way discussion with knowledgeable staff, especially when considering high-ticket items. While digital offerings and an enhanced omni-channel retail presence are important in the retail cycle, retailers should consider the research findings as a stark reminder that shoppers prefer a personal touch when it comes to purchasing luxury or high ticket items.”

The study also warns that brands need to strike the right balance to improve the in store experience. Shoppers are quick to criticise staff with 52% complaining that they are too pushy when making a sale.

“Shoppers are turned off by staff that are too keen to make a sale,” continued Todaro. “They usually know what they are looking for from research online, so want to speak with honest, supportive staff that have both the brand and the shopper’s interests at the core of the customer journey.”

With footfall increasingly scrutinised by brands, the opportunity to discuss intended purchases with staff increases dwell time to more than ten minutes for 33% of consumers. A further 29% will also return to that store if they have received helpful feedback on the shop floor, indicating that a more personal touch in store will result in repeat sales and enhanced brand loyalty.

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