Electronic store

Buyers consider knowledge of retail staff to be key to fostering in-store customer experience

Knowledge exceeds consumer expectations when it comes to adding value to in-store shopping experiences, reveals the latest research from the Retail Technology Show, the new flagship retail event.

An original study of over 2,000 UK shoppers in its latest Retail Revolution report showed that 40% believed in-store associates were the key factor that could ‘make or break’ the customer experience when shopping in-store, knowledge being the determining factor in creating positive shopping experiences. A further 42% said they wanted retail staff to be knowledgeable, while more than a quarter (26%) said they would be more likely to use physical stores in the future if knowledgeable and experienced store staff were available to support them in their buying journey.

Leveraging the customer experience by improving the employee experience was a key trend showcased in former Dreams CEO Mike Logue’s keynote session at the Retail Technology Show, in which he attributed employee engagement to all corporate levels – from HR to those on the shop floor – with Dreams’ fortunes turning around. He highlighted the importance of retail staff understanding and adopting business strategy, as well as providing in-store CX and providing a valuable feedback loop for the retailer to continually evolve their offering. .

Today, more than half (56%) of customers expect store staff to be as skilled as them across all channels. More than a quarter (27%) of consumers want sales associates to have the same level of digital information as they do when they walk into the store, and another third (29%) expect the knowledge of retail staff products spans all retailer sales channels, being able to share product information and advice not only about products available in-store, but also within the scope of the online offer from a retailer.

More than a third (34%) of shoppers value retail staff more than before the pandemic, having become more respectful of the role store associates play in their buying journeys. And having a human touch in shopping experiences also remained essential for consumers; despite retailers, including Asda, testing in-store robots, only 15% of shoppers wanted in-store interactions to be automated, with robots welcoming them into the store or helping them find items.

However, 41% of shoppers felt retailers could do more to support their frontline staff, and a fifth (19%) said retail employees could be better connected to improve customer service delivery by store.

Matt Bradley, Director of Events at the Retail Technology Show, said, “It’s no secret that great employee experiences create positive customer experiences – and those connections between shopper and store staff, who embody and represent the “face of the brand”, are crucial. not only to drive conversions, but also to deliver shopping experiences that build long-term customer loyalty. However, retailers need to ensure store staff remain supported – through processes and connected technologies – to continue to elevate that in-store “human touch” that shoppers value. »

Find out more about the trends that will impact retail in 2022 and beyond – as well as what’s new in store from the Retail Technology Show 2023, taking place April 25-26, 2023 at Olympia in London – download the full report for free: Retail Revolution: A blueprint for the transformational retail outlook report – Retail Technology Show.