Online shopping is convenient, provides quick access to product reviews and makes price comparisons easy, but it lacks two factors consumers value: human interaction and help.
Customers still consider advice from knowledgeable staff in their purchasing decisions, according to a recent report from NetWorld Media Group. To understand the flaws in online customer service and the advantages of in-store shopping, NetWorld Media Group surveyed more than 1,000 consumers for its 2015 Retail Future Trends report and uncovered the following data.
Applied to Retail: Staff interaction is still vital to customers’ purchasing decisions, so make sure your sales associates are knowledgeable and friendly. Ensure that customers receive a truly unique in-store experience that they can’t get online.
One way to live up to customers’ service expectations is to take advantage of industry training programs, such as the North American Retail Hardware Association’s online training. These programs will equip your employees to become product and project experts.
The NetWorld data shows that in-store experiences are still important to the retail industry, but it doesn’t lessen the significance of websites to retailers. A growing number of customers often opt to buy home improvement products online, so you can’t ignore e-commerce. You also can’t build a robust e-commerce presence overnight, so develop a long-term plan for how to implement a website and e-commerce platform. E-commerce resources such as Shopify and WooThemes are great places to start. Your co-op or distributor can also help get you started.