According to a survey by Capgemini, 64% of brick-and-mortar retail customers indicated a lack of guidance and knowledge offered by store staff as one of their top five customer experience pain points. With the increased difficulty in finding the right brand ambassadors or retail staff, many customers leave stores unhappy and empty-handed. Even with the right frontline staff, there are many challenges in keeping them focused on high-value customer engagements. Unlabelled products or those with the wrong pricing tags are another big irritation for customers, leading to unnecessary price-checking queries, eating away at store staffs’ efficiency, their productivity, and their service. Time spent searching for the right price rather than truly engaging with the customer could result in lost sales as well as an inefficient use of third party brand ambassadors.
According to Forbes,“Deloitte estimates the industry is in critical need of at least one million more workers this year. But then as quickly as new employees are added, others quit.”
If the industry doesn’t have enough retail workers, let alone frontline store staff, how can brands and retailers expect customers to gain any depth of product knowledge to build their buying confidence and guide shopping decisions?
- Do we have enough staff on the ground?
- Is there signage to help customers choose the right product? How are we communicating product information?
- Are seasonal drops and limited product ranges clearly identified?
When shoppers aren’t given enough information to develop buying confidence and are given no guidance, they will either overbuy and return unnecessary items or simply walking away without buying. Either way, it hurts the brand and retailers that aren’t helping shoppers sufficiently. Figures from the National Retail Federation (NRF) indicate that the rate of return would average 16.6% of total U.S. retail sales, totalling more than $761 billion worth of goods being returned.
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