Half of shoppers feel a lack of in-store staff impacts on their final decision to make a purchase, according to research from field marketing specialists Gekko.
The study, which investigated what drives consumers in store and online, also revealed that 36 percent of shoppers use advice from an in-store expert to influence their purchase decisions.
Despite the assumption that young people prefer to shop and research products online, the study noted that 33 percent of 18-24-year-olds said they preferred receiving in-store advice from staff to help them with their purchasing decisions.
Daniel Todaro, managing director 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 omnichannel 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 as shoppers were found to be quick to criticise staff with 52 percent complaining that they are too pushy when making a sale.
“Shoppers are turned off by staff that are too keen to make a sale,” added 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.”
The research also found that the opportunity to discuss intended purchases with staff increased dwell time to more than ten minutes for 33 percent of consumers. A further 29 percent of shoppers also said they would return to a store if they received helpful feedback on the shop floor, indicating that a more personal touch in store will result in repeat sales and enhanced brand loyalty.