Survey Finds Shoppers More Connected Than Store Associates


Highly Connected Shoppers Represent Next Retail Industry Challenge; 87 Percent of Retailers Agree That Shoppers Can Easily Find Better Deals

NEW YORK, NY — The majority of surveyed retail associates believe that shoppers are better connected to consumer information than in-store associates, according to a recent Motorola Solutions Annual Holiday Study. The change is being driven by increasing availability of mobile phone applications and online shopping tools that enable shoppers to make price comparisons, access coupons and social-networking.

The survey found that retailers that aren’t investing in technology to stay ahead of increasingly tech-savvy shoppers are hurting their own bottom line. Nearly three in 10 (28 percent) store visits ended with an average of $132 unspent due to abandoned purchases driven by deal-habituated behavior, out-of-stocks, limited store associate assistance and long check-out processes.

“Retailers have put their associates at a significant disadvantage to connected consumers with the majority citing that shoppers are better connected than their in-store associates. With 87 percent of surveyed retail associates noting that shoppers can easily find a better deal, offering the best customer experience is more important than ever. Retailers need to arm their mobile associates with access to real-time information to level the shopping playing field,” said Frank Riso, senior director of retail solutions, Motorola Solutions.

Need To Empower Mobile Worker

  • 55 percent of surveyed retailers cite shoppers as better connected to information than store associates.
  • More than half of surveyed retail associates voiced that they had little time to help customers because of pressure to get other tasks completed.
  • 85 percent of surveyed retail associates agreed that improving in-store communication between staff and managers would have a significant effect on customer satisfaction.

Push To Enable Real-Time Visibility

  • 34 percent of surveyed retail managers cited frustration when alerted they need to replenish stock after getting complaints, instead of knowing ahead of time.
  • 55 percent of losses due to out-of-stocks could very likely be recovered with store associate interventions; specifically, when store associates have the capability to track down the item and offer a solution, most customers will complete their purchase with that retailer.
  • 68 percent of surveyed retail associates would find the capability to scan barcodes to check inventory and availability of items requested by customers helpful in a small mobile device form factor that is deployed to every associate.

Engage the Connected Shopper

  • 28 percent of store visits ended with an average of $132 unspent due to abandoned purchases driven by deal-habituated behavior, out-of-stocks, limited store associate assistance and long check-out processes.
  • Nearly 25 percent of surveyed shoppers said they would be very likely to take advantage of a sales associate using a handheld payment terminal to complete their purchase, compared to only 9 percent who would be very likely to use their own mobile phone to scan their items and process payment without assistance.

Digital Tablet Like the iPad Are Changing Media Consumption HabitsOn a positive note, the survey indicates that when surveyed shoppers received guidance from a retail associate armed with a handheld mobile computer, over four in ten (43 percent) reported the device improved their shopping experience. The survey also notes that an overwhelming majority of retailers – 87 percent – believe that shoppers can easily find a better deal so customer service—aided by access to real-time information— is “more important than ever.”

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