In a year of multiple retail collapses, new research has suggested it is retailers themselves that are to blame, as shoppers dissatisfied with poor service levels turn their back on established players.
Releasing the results of the 2017 Global Shopper Study – the 10th instalment of the annual report – almost half (44 per cent) of consumers remain unhappy with customer service and staff availability.
The returns and exchanges process remains a chief bugbear of shoppers, with the problem more pronounced for online (53 per cent) than in-store (44 per cent) shoppers.
However, it isn’t all bad news for the retail sector: the increasing use of technology in-store is winning over customers, with 57 per cent specifically stating that in-store tablets has improved their shopping experience.
WiFi and location-based services, like mobile coupons, are also of interest to more than half of consumers in both the Asia-Pacific region as well as in Europe.
“Sales associates armed with the right technology tools are better equipped to serve customers and increase revenue by providing the visibility and actionable insight into product information, inventory and fulfillment options that bring the online experience into the physical store,” said Jeff Schmitz, senior vice-president and CMO at Zebra Technologies.
One example of this comes down to out-of-stock situations, with 70 per cent of customers leaving a store without making their intended purchase. However, six in 10 of these incidents could be averted by offering customers on-site alternatives, such as free shipping to their home, discounts or alternative fulfilment options.
The report was released just days after yet another Australian retailer fell into administration.
Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016.